World AIDS Day - December 1, 2015

On the 1st of December 2015, we will once again commemorate World AIDS Day. 

Over the course of the last 13 years, AAIM has witnessed how the epidemic evolved all over the world and particularly in the continent of Africa. 

When this ministry started in 2002, people in Africa were dying in great numbers. Treatment was not easily available or financially affordable for all, at that time in Africa. Today, there are significant advances in HIV research and treatment that suggest that an “AIDS-free generation” may be in sight by 2030.

As we approach a new commemoration of the World AIDS Day, we have a lot of good news and hope to share with those already infected with HIV or at risk of contracting the virus. 

However, it is always very important to remember that special attention should be put to the prevention of HIV infections and STIs* in general, and that we should never lower our guard.

The following is a list of great recent advances to combat the global HIV epidemic:
  • Today, the expected survival of a 20-year-old person just diagnosed with HIV in a high income country is 55 years. 
  • Today, we know where HIV hides. The sites include the nose, lungs, gut, genitals, brain and lymph nodes in the armpits and groin.This significantly helps improve ARV treatments.
  • Today’s ARVs are more potent and less toxic than before.
  • One of the major improvements after HAART or Triple Therapy was introduced, was the sharp decline of AIDS-related deaths and the shift from many pills a day to a single pill once a day.
  • Test and Treat - Any person who tests HIV positive, irrespective of the CD4 count should immediately start ARV treatment.
  • Treatment as Prevention - Deploying the drugs used to treat AIDS may be the way to limit its spread - AIDS Incidence and Related Deaths are drastically decreasing with Access to Treatment as Prevention
  • The HIV Vaccine Research is very advanced - the identification of Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies (bNAbs) has given a great boost to the HIV research. “An HIV vaccine that has the potential to end the AIDS epidemic in South Africa is currently being tested at six sites countrywide. If all goes well in the follow-up trials set to begin late next year, the vaccine could be available for general use by 2019.”
  • And Please, Remember! Pre and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) could save lives. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is about Treatment as Prevention as stated in the previous section; and regarding PEP, there is only a 72 hr window of opportunity after exposure to HIV exposure through rape, HIV contaminated needle prick or wound, etc. to receive ARV medication for 30 days, which will help avoid massive HIV infection and its consequences.


Last year, the UNAIDS set targets for 2020 aimed at ending the epidemic by 2030. The targets included: achieving “90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment; and 90% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.”

Today, and in order to contribute to the commemoration of the upcoming World AIDS Day 2015,  AAIM has included a list of the most updated breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS. 

We hope and pray that this information will be beneficial in helping people avoid becoming HIV positive as well as an inspiration to seek the best treatments that are available today.

Stigma remains one of the most important HIV challenges to be defeated. 

Just a few days ago, a well known American actor disclosed that he is HIV positive, which triggered “sensationalism and misinformation” together with comments and judgements from people and the media which only helped to “perpetuate unnecessary stigma, preventing many people from seeking care and getting tested”.  

Let us inform ourselves appropriately, and help disseminate accurate education about the epidemic. This will contribute to reduce infections and stigma. “Experts recommend that prevention be based on “knowing your epidemic,” that is, tailoring prevention to the local context and epidemiology, and using a combination of prevention strategies, bringing programs to scale, and sustaining efforts over time. Access to prevention, however, remains limited, because of misinformation, stigma, lack of educational programs, fear and lack of funding among other reasons.”

AAIM continues to bring Hope, Love and Compassion to the communities in Africa and all over the world through its web-site and social media.

We thank God for this privilege and we encourage all our partners in ministry to continue helping those infected and affected by this epidemic!

To all our readers, we thank you for visiting our sites, and hope that you too will share our passion to assist those touched by this epidemic!

Are we winning the war against HIV/AIDS? Yes, indeed!

May God bless you all!

*STIs= Sexually Transmitted Infections

Preparation for the International AIDS Day - December 1st 2014

World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control. World AIDS Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day. 

As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children.

Each year the world focuses on a specific theme. The World AIDS Day Theme for 2014 is “Getting to Zero.”
The International AIDS Day was instituted 26 years ago, in 1988. The themes are not limited to a single day but are used year-round in international efforts to highlight HIV/AIDS awareness within the context of other major global events.
For the 2014 commemoration, AAIM has requested its network of HIV/AIDS Coordinators to present their plans, which we summarize as follows:
  • Public march in town (invite town officers to join you)

  • Seminar on Psycho-Social Health with Bible verses that support

  • Session of testimonies by people HIV+ on advantages of ARVs

  • Followed by the film “Lazarus Effect”

  • HIV testing and counseling in churches and schools in your area 

  • Share red ribbons in the church and community

  • To share the clips or printed material on “30 Messages of Hope and Healing”

  • To project the film “Starting Over” or some of the clips “The Dr. Speaks”

  • Organize Conferences or Round Tables on HIV/AIDS

  • Visit Orphanages and take gifts to support the orphans

  • Visit schools in the area and give a talk on HIV Prevention

  • Sermons on HIV/AIDS, compassion, love, acceptance, stigma, etc.

  • Organize a contest on the best poster about HIV/AIDS

  • Honor an AIDS leader in your community

  • Gather people who are HIV-positive and/or the family members, friends, and survivors of people with AIDS, and pray for each other

  • Make resources on HIV and AIDS available at your church

  • With young people, plan and present a program with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Set up a debate about HIV and AIDS. Sample topics could include: (1) It’s been said that people are either infected or affected by AIDS. How does AIDS affect you? (2) Do you agree or disagree that each person has a responsibility for others in the global family? (“I am [not] my brother’s keeper.”) 

  • AIDS education encourages [discourages] sexual activity? - debate

  • Organize a creative writing or poster competition for young people on the topic of HIV or AIDS, healthy lifestyle choices, etc.

  • We care..., Do you? Invite people interested in joining HIV prevention programs for the youth.

  • And many more...! - Your creativity counts!

Where possible, and especially in West Africa, consider combining the message of HIV prevention with Ebola awareness and prevention. 

World AIDS Day - December 1, 2009/10
“Universal Access and Human Rights.”

Dear friends,
Greetings to all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
World AIDS day is around the corner. Let’s all get involved and use this special opportunity to remember and show our support to people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
All around the world, the 1st. of December commemoration of the World AIDS Day will be the main focus in the media and communities. Faith based organizations must be active players and make sure that our congregations will adhere to this important day.
The global theme for 2009 and 2010 World AIDS Day is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”
Today, there are more than 6,400,000 PLWHA in the world, needing ARVs (Anti Retro Viral Drugs). The majority of them, being in the African continent!
Human rights is another very important issue related with HIV and AIDS. We need to get more involved in advocacy and promote Human Rights, specially Women and Children Rights (women and children particularly experience many disadvantages among the general population affected by the epidemic). Two other groups, men and elderly people, also need lots of support.
World AIDS Day is commemorated each 1st. of December.  In our church the emphasis on HIV/AIDS usually starts one week before and lasts one week after. This is variable and depends on the programs you are planning for your territories.
We encourage you to establish partnerships and to associate with other organizations for this special event and future projects on HIV/AIDS.
We wish you a great World AIDS Day, and we want you to know that we highly appreciate your respective ministries for the people touched by the HIV epidemic.
We keep you all in our prayers. May God bless you!
With Christian regards,
Oscar & Eugenia Giordano
Directors AAIM
 Raise awareness – Wear a red ribbon – Commit yourself to this noble ministry
World AIDS Day - December 1, 2008
Dear friends, "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise" continues to be the main theme for this year. Please note that it has an special emphasis on "Leadership" with an appeal to governments, policy makers and organizations involved in the fight against the HIV epidemic.
It is only through the joint collaboration of all stakeholders that we will be able to make a difference. The use of combined prevention methods will increase the rate of success. We invite you to explore this page and its links in order to find more ideas related with this important day. God bless you!
In commemoration of the World AIDS Day 2008, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has prepared a three hours special report on HIV & AIDS. This program was produced by AAIM and the Adventist Media Center in Cape Town, South Africa. It was scheduled to be aired by Hope Channel on December 1, 2008. Hope Channel has an estimated 10,000,000 viewers in the sub-Saharan Africa. This program will be screened on Hope Channel International Africa, Asia, and Australia. We hope and pray that it will benefit a great number of people.
Simultaneously, the AAIM's production of "30 Messages of Hope and Healing" will be aired by Hope Channel during the month of December. All AAIM Coordinators have received copies to be used in the various programs in their respective countries. These messages are available in this web-site (see page Centres of Hope and Healing". They are free to be used, with the condition that they will be reproduced exactly as they are written, and the source will be acknowledged.
We pray specially for those who have been touched by the HIV epidemic all over the world; the infected and the affected. May our Lord Jesus-Christ give you hope and healing!
Dr.Oscar A. Giordano
AAIM Executive Director
Additional ideas and suggestions to commemorate this important day can be downloaded here
World AIDS Day - December 1, 2007
Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise – "Take the Lead"
This year, World AIDS Day —December 1, 2007 — will focus on leadership. This will form part of the theme set by the World AIDS Campaign under the five-year slogan, "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise."
World AIDS Day is a day when people from around the world come together to express solidarity with people living with HIV.   As an institution, the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) fully supports this concept and is very much committed and involved in programs of prevention, care, and support.  
The Church recognizes that in the areas of the world most severely impacted by HIV and AIDS, such as the continent of Africa, Adventists are in a position of making a very substantial contribution to the global fight against the HIV pandemic; bringing hope, love and comfort to those affected and infected by the disease.
AAIM – the Adventist - AIDS International Ministry office is based in Johannesburg , South Africa and is currently very busy assisting congregations and communities get organized to deal with the HIV pandemic. AAIM works through the extensive Adventist Network in Africa.
So far, AAIM has established HIV/AIDS programs in 20 countries of the sub-Saharan Africa . In addition, and in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, AAIM's action plan includes the organization of "Church or Institutional Based HIV/AIDS Support Groups."  These groups participate in activities such as home based care, orphans care, visiting and distribution of food and clothing parcels, and  income generating activities. Consequently, each church or institution becomes a support center for the community.
Because the HIV pandemic is a problem which mainly affects youth, in particularly young women, which count for more than 50% of the infections, AAIM has applied, during 2007, a very strong emphasis on those vulnerable groups through several programs implemented all over Africa.
An innovative program with African grandmothers was continued and expanded this year with excellent results. Grandmothers are key players in controlling the impact of the epidemic among family members and orphans.
We need to keep reminding ourselves that the HIV epidemic is not a single problem, but it is a multiple epidemic with elements of denial, stigma, poverty, ignorance, prejudice, fear, etc. which compels us to fight several fronts at the same time.
We are still battling congregations with judgemental attitudes and discrimination against people living with HIV, and also poor understanding of issues related with HIV prevention.
In keeping with this year's World AIDS Day's focus on leadership, we at AAIM want to make a special call to church leaders, particularly lay leaders, Elders, Deacons, Sabbath School Superintendents, etc., who are the backbone and foundation of the church, to take the lead and set an example.   We have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus spreading his loving care and compassion to others and bringing hope and healing to those in need.
Often when confronted by challenges as large as the global challenge of HIV, where millions upon millions are infected and tens of millions more affected, there is a tendency to see the challenge as so big that we think, "I can do nothing about it".
It is true that I may be able to do very little about the global HIV pandemic or end world poverty or global hunger, but I can help the person that is near me and is in need.   Jesus could have ended world hunger and satisfied all of people's needs.  But that was not his plan.  Instead, He showed us to love and have compassion to those in need on a daily basis.     
That is all that He expects from us (Matthew 25:35-36, :40)
It is our hope and prayer that each and everyone of our churches will become a Center of Hope and Healing! There are numerous activities planned by the Seventh-day Adventist Churches and Institutions throughout the continent of Africa. We specially pray for a great succes in your campaigns of awareness and support.  
We do not cease to repeat over and over again, THERE IS HOPE for the people living with HIV and AIDS! (Matthew 11:28; John 11:25; John 14:6)
May God bless you!
Oscar Giordano
AAIM Executive Director
Additional ideas and suggestions to commemorate this important day can be downloaded here
World AIDS Day December 1, 2006

Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise"
AAIM News release - December 1, 2006
Today, December 1st. the world commemorates the International AIDS Day.
According to the latest statistics released on November 21, 2006 by UNAIDS, it shows that in 2006:
  • An estimated 39.5 million people are living with HIV.

  • There were 4.3 million new infections in 2006 with 2.8 million (65%) of these occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Infection rates in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have risen by more than 50% since 2004.

  • Globally, 2.9 million people died of AIDS, including 380,000 children under 15.

:: Sub-Saharan Africa
In 2006, almost two thirds (63%) of all persons infected with HIV are living in sub-Saharan Africa—24.7 million. An estimated 2.8 million adults and children became infected with HIV in 2006, more than in all other regions of the world combined.
The 2.1 million AIDS deaths in sub-Saharan Africa represent 72% of global AIDS deaths. Across this region, women bear a disproportionate part of the AIDS burden: not only are they more likely than men to be infected with HIV, but in most countries they are also more likely to be the ones caring for people infected with HIV.
Southern Africa remains the epicenter of the global HIV epidemic: 32% of people with HIV globally live in this subregion and 34% of AIDS deaths globally occur there. Last week, we came back from Angola, where AAIM held a very successful program on HIV/AIDS with 129 participants representing our churches from all over the country.
Angola is the 14th. country reached by AAIM in less than three years. HIV/AIDS prevention and impact mitigation are the main goals of this ministry's action plan. The level of HIV/AIDS awareness is being raised throughout our churches and institutions in Africa.
We thank God for the many blessings received during this time.
World AIDS Day December 1, 2005
Adventist-AIDS International Ministry
Tri-Divisional Africa Office
"Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise"
Dear friends, 
Greetings from AAIM!
We are rapidly approaching the AIDS International Day on December 1st.   
This is a reminder of this important occasion, when all around the world, people will commemorate the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our societies. The theme for 2005 is: "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise"
December 1st is a special opportunity for HIV/AIDS Awareness for our church members and the communities they represent.  It is also a great opportunity for witnessing and sharing Jesus' love and compassion toward the people infected and affected by this disease.
Some fields prefer to prepare a program only for December 1st, while other fields prefer to hold programs that will last the entire week before or after December 1st. It is suggested that a strong accent should be put on:
1)    "Healthy Lifestyle", The SDA Health Message
2)    STIs and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education
3)    How to become involved in the AIDS Ministry and help people living with HIV and AIDS
4)    Reaching out to the communities touched by the HIV/AIDS epidemic - HIV/AIDS Impact Mitigation - Matthew 25:35-36
5)    Living with HIV - How to overcome HIV/AIDS with the help of the Great Healer, Jesus-Christ - Participation of PLWHA
6)    HIV/AIDS, A Ministry of Love and Compassion - Spiritual support and assistance for PLWHA and Orphans
7)    "Each SDA Church a Support Center for the Community" through “church based HIV/AIDS support groups” (for more information on this item, you can contact us )
These are just some examples of focus areas that could be developed in short presentations/debates, together with other activities. Public presentations, parades, and advocacy represent successful avenues to reach a greater number of people and improve the public perception of this problem and the Adventist approach to it.
Additional ideas and suggestions to commemorate this important day can be downloaded here
We hope and pray that through your programs many people all over the continent of Africa will receive Jesus' touch of love and compassion and become fully aware of this terrible scourge that is decimating entire populations in the world and most particularly in this continent. 
May our Lord Jesus-Christ inspire and empower each of us as we share His unconditional love and acceptance for each and everyone suffering from HIV/AIDS.  "...When He saw the multitudes, Jesus was moved with compassion for them..." Matthew 9:35-36 
Let our churches become refuges of healing and hope for all people and active support centers for the communities. "Our Father in Heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost..." Matthew 18:14 
May God bless you as you prepare for this important event! 
With kind Christian regards, 
Oscar Giordano
Dr. Oscar A. Giordano, MD., MPH.
AAIM Executive Director
GC, Adventist-AIDS International Ministry 
Tri-Divisional Africa Office
30 Peter Place, Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1823 – Cramerview  - 2060
Johannesburg – South Africa
Office: (+27) 11-463-1501
Cell: (+27) 728210429
Fax: (+27) 11-463-3951