A key opportunity to raise awareness of the issue
World AIDS Day, held every year on 1st December, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the epidemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. For 2019, the theme chosen by the WHO is “communities make the difference” #Communitiesmakethedifference. Eni has numerous initiatives in place to inform its workers of the issue. From Australia to Congo, Pakistan to Nigeria, in 15 countries Eni promotes a whole series of activities to raise awareness in its people of the issue. Training programmes, discussion groups, annual testing for employees, and communication campaigns on the issue are just some of the numerous initiatives sponsored by the company.
The global numbers
Around the world around 36.7 million people are infected by HIV and, although the syndrome was only identified in 1984, over 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Science has made enormous progress in the treatment of the disease and laws have been introduced to protect people living with HIV. Yet people continue to die from AIDS-related illnesses, especially people in younger age groups. Recent statistics on the spread of the disease published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe show that HIV is a persistent epidemic.
Treatment and prevention
The challenge today is to guarantee access to necessary medicines for the 17.1 million people in need of treatment, including 1.2 million children. It is essential that HIV prevention is given priority in public health care programmes, especially in countries where HIV infection is on the rise. That’s why, alongside the activities pursued by each of our associates, the Eni Foundation has sponsored specific projects in Mozambique and Ghana. World AIDS Day is a major opportunity to promote treatment and prevention, raise funding, combat prejudice and campaign for governments and society to earmark the resources needed for HIV treatment and information campaigns.