Today is World AIDS Day, a day observed around the globe to raise awareness, remember those who have passed on, and celebrate the victories in improving access to HIV treatment and prevention services.
Here at Direct Relief, we are collaborating with ministries of health, nongovernmental organizations and leading healthcare companies to equip front-line health providers in 45 developing countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America with the supplies they need to provide HIV testing, treatment, and support for people living with or at risk of HIV infection.
On World AIDS Day, Direct Relief celebrates two key programs that made substantial gains in preventing HIV infection in children and improving quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in 2012.
20 Million Rapid HIV Tests Distributed to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
In June, Direct Relief, along with its supporters Abbott and the Abbott Fund, reached a major milestone by distributing 20 million rapid HIV tests free of charge to HIV testing and counseling programs serving pregnant women and their families in 43 developing countries.
By making sure health providers have rapid HIV tests to serve their clients—the first step in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV—Direct Relief is excited to be part of the remarkable progress made in recent years in reducing new infections among newborn children.
To date, more than 150 partner organizations have participated in the program, serving more than 8,000 health facilities. HIV-positive mothers identified through the program can be referred to anti-retroviral therapy to help prevent their child from being infected with HIV.
The UNAIDS 2012 World AIDS Day report indicates that half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborn children, perhaps one of the biggest achievements in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
Helping People with HIV Fight Opportunistic Infections
In celebration of World AIDS Day, Direct Relief is releasing the Diflucan Partnership Program Map, an interactive map that highlights the significant achievements made by Diflucan Partnership Program since 2000, including the provision of over 89 million defined daily doses of Diflucan to people living with HIV in 60 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The Diflucan Partnership Program seeks to improve access to Diflucan (fluconazole), an essential anti-fungal medicine, for patients living with HIV. In Fiscal Year 2012 alone Direct Relief distributed more than $122.6 million in Diflucan to governments and nongovernmental organizations free of charge.
The Diflucan Partnership Program is critical to ensuring HIV patients with two serious fungal infections—cryptococal meningitis and esophageal candidiasis—have the treatment they need and can lead healthy and productive lives.