World AIDS Day takes place every year on December 1st, and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to rally support for people living with it, and to spread awareness and education on its prevention and management. The campaign’s theme this year, set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), is “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.”
Abarca goes all in to support this fight to break the stigma surrounding the disease, and call for an increased response to move forward to end the HIV epidemic.
Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who are HIV-positive. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV/AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
The negative imagery associated with AIDS has been disadvantageous in getting people to come forward to test for HIV. Too often, HIV/AIDS is associated with negative connotations such as frailty and death. Still, it is essential to know that this is no longer the case. The reality is that millions of people around the world are living full, healthy lives while HIV-positive thanks to scientific advances made in HIV diagnosis and treatment. AIDS is no longer a reality for the vast majority of people living with HIV.
Despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition. By spreading knowledge and solidarity in our communities about the disease, we can help break the stigma surrounding it and bring those afflicted out of the shadows.
Abarca’s RxTarget™ module incorporates HIV medications as one of the conditions to target (specifically for medication adherence). Adherence to HIV/AIDS medications is a significant factor in the success of therapy, as mutations of the virus may make the medication unsuccessful for patients. Non-adherence is one of the leading causes of therapeutic failure due to virus mutation. Contrary to other chronic diseases in which adequate patient adherence is defined as taking the medication on time 80% or more of the time, for HIV this threshold is much higher, with literature setting at least 95% adherence as optimal.
Abarca stands firm in the fight against HIV/AIDS by reminding the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education. If you or someone you know has HIV or AIDS, you can find more information here, as well as prevention tools, and support services as provided by the CDC.
*This blog post was written by Tony Perez, Clinical Pharmacist at Abarca Health.