Link Community Development greets World Aids Day on December 1 with both celebration for what has been accomplished, as well as hope and commitment to continuing to work to save lives.
In the last decade, the global community has made great strides against HIV/AIDS: UNAIDS reports that in 2010, AIDS deaths declined to 1.8 million from 2.1 million in 2004. However, since 2007 the number of new infections worldwide has plateaued at 2.7 million- 70% of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Link recognizes that there is still much to be done in the fight against HIV/AIDS and takes an active role in this struggle. For example:
- In South Africa, Link is implementing the Peer Education Care and Support Program (PECSP) to 141 schools. This innovative program trains 2532 parents of Peer Educators, 492 Life Orientation Educators and 88 District Officials. This program is funded by USAID.
- In Ethiopia, Link has held numerous teacher workshops to facilitate better understanding of the disease and learning on how to better educate and support students.
- In Uganda, Link assists schools in administering the new National Policy Guidelines on HIV/AIDS in Your School; thus helping schools to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for HIV-positive teachers and students.
Education has been called a "social vaccine" against HIV/AIDS because education empowers individuals with the appropriate skills to receive and act on knowledge, including knowledge about HIV/AIDS. It is important that we continue these programs until HIV/AIDS no longer cripples Africa's growth and development.