World AIDS day observed on December 1

Lloyd Russell Moyle speaking in Parliament

People should not test positive for HIV and receive treatment, only to die of TB, due to poor access to TB diagnosis among people living with HIV.

If people don't know their HIV status, they can't protect themselves, their families, their partners.

Campaigners say one of the biggest challenges in the fight to end AIDS is encouraging people to get tested and making them aware of treatment and prevention services. And around 5 million people are living with both HIV and viral hepatitis, with most of these people unaware.

In the video clip which lasts no more than two minutes, Varadkar said that "I am in a GP (General Practitioner) surgery here in Dublin for World Aids Day and I am taking a Rapid HIV Test as part of a campaign to raise awareness and to encourage people to know their status".

Currently, there are almost 37 million people around the world living with HIV - approximately 1.1 million in the United States alone.

PAHO says the majority of new infections in the Region occur in gay men and other men who have sex with men, which represent 41 percent of new cases in Latin America and 23 percent in the Caribbean.

"Many of those who are being left behind are those who are more affected by HIV including people who use drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men and prisoners".

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"As far as government is concerned, we look after everybody who has tested positive for HIV irrespective of whether you reside in the rural or urban area".

"But, we must understand that the HIV response is a public responsibility for everyone". More people living with HIV are now receiving treatment that is allowing them to live longer, healthier lives.

This starts with the provision of testing services, particularly for those at-risk of HIV infection.

- Every week, nearly 7,000 young women aged between 15 and 24 are infected with HIV.

In addition to the expansion of testing services, PAHO advocates for the provision of both post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for those who may have been exposed to HIV, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to those at substantial risk of infection as part of the comprehensive package of HIV prevention services. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Lagos State commissioner for youth and social development, Agboola Dabiri, made the appeal during HIV/AIDS awareness talk in Agege, Lagos.

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