World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate the people who have died. It is undoubtedly an achievement that due to timely intervention of the government and various NGOs, there is a significant decrease in HIV infections in Kerala. Also, a majority of the patients are now getting Anti- Retroviral Therapy, which helps them lead a normal life in society without complications and increases their life span.
According to the Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS), formed to implement the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in the State, on World AIDS Day the number of people who underwent the HIV test has increased from 4, 75, 414 in 2015 to 5, 02, 377 in 2016, which according to the officials shows the changing attitude of society towards the disease. Also, according to the report, the number of people affected by AIDS has come down to 1, 199 up till October, 2016 from 1,494 in 2015.
KSACS has been able to facilitate a healthy trend through various service centres functioning under it such as Jyothis – the integrated counselling and testing centres, Ushas – the anti-retroviral therapy centres, Pulari – that gives free treatment for those suffering from sexually-transmitted diseases, and Suraksha – that targets HIV-prone groups. Other activities like voluntary blood donation centres and red ribbon clubs in educational institutions have also contributed to a great extent in bringing awareness about the disease.