World AIDS Day takes place every year on December 1st presenting 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. This year’s campaign theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community” and Abarca goes all in to break the stigma surrounding the disease, and calls for an increased response to move forward to end the HIV epidemic.
Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the HIV virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in human history.
The negative imagery associated with AIDS has been really unhelpful in getting people to come forward to test for HIV. Too often HIV and AIDS are associated with negative connotations such as death and frailty. Still, it is essential to know that they are not the same things, and the reality is that millions of people around the world are living with HIV positively and healthily thanks to scientific advances made in HIV 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 against the disease, we can help break the stigma surrounding it and bring those afflicted with it 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 the continuous mutation 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, and contrary to other chronic diseases in which adequate patient adherence is defined as taking the medication on-time 80% of the time or more, this threshold is much higher for HIV, 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, resources, prevention, symptoms, testing, and support services as provided by HIV.gov and the CDC.