World Aids Day Commemoration
On Thursday, December 1st, “World Aids Day” was commemorated at the Marbella Salon inside the Holiday Inn at the City of Knowledge.
The event started with the welcoming words of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Panama, Mrs. Kim Bolduc, who spoke about the history of the epidemic and the recent outlook regarding HIV on a global scale. Then, Dr. César Núñez, Regional Director of UNAIDS, recognized the labor of activists that have worked on the movement against HIV all over the world. Jorge Sequeira, Regional Director of UNESCO, emphasized the power that education has in order to prevent new infections and create a tolerant and respectful society that achieves the vision of UNAIDS of Zero discrimination, Zero new HIV infections and Zero AIDS-related deaths.
Ricardo García, Panama Coordinator of UNAIDS, gave some figures related to the projects that are being supported by the UNAIDS Secretariat and its 10 agencies. The EMESSAR organization and “Cambiando Vidas” presented the results and recommendations of a study on vulnerability and service access barriers that women with HIV have to deal with. And Venus Tejada, President of the Panamanian Association of Trans People (APPT), presented results related to sexually protected practices and the empowerment of trans people in Panama. Besides, the Kuna General Congress presented an initiative in sexual and reproductive health, supported by UNAIDS, entitled “Sanburba Agwed Igar”, which includes a strong HIV prevention component.
To put an end to the event, a photo exhibit that shows the work of NGO’s with HIV, respect for sexual diversity and gender identity in Panama, was inaugurated. Globally the number of HIV infections and deaths has been reduced by nearly 20%. This means less people are becoming infected with HIV and less people are dying from AIDS.