The South-West Regional Health Authority joins the global community in recognising World AIDS Day 2107. The theme of the World Health Organisation World AIDS Day 2017 campaign is Everybody Counts. It focuses on building a united response to HIV and AIDS worldwide. At the end of 2016, the WHO estimated that there were 36.7 million worldwide living with HIV. In Trinidad and Tobago, UNAIDS estimated some 11,000 persons living with HIV.

Everybody counts if quality healthcare services and medicine are to reach those most at risk and help persons living with HIV reach their full health potential. A united response is also needed in order to effectively counter stigma and discrimination, engage communities and partners in health to raise awareness and create opportunities for affordable and long-term care for people living with HIV.

We all have a part to play in building a stronger HIV response by educating those we interact with about HIV, practicing safe-sex, eliminating prejudice against those living with HIV and increasing awareness of this disease that has claimed the lives of 1 million persons globally.

Today, the message is simple- in the fight against HIV and AIDS, everybody counts!