“Now is the time for us to work together to free our community from HIV transmission."
By
Michaela Morgan

6 Nov 2017 - 11:46 AM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2017 - 11:48 AM

With World AIDS Day less than a month away, ACON is calling on volunteers for the annual Red Ribbon Appeal to help end HIV transmission. 

ACON’s CEO—Nicolas Parkhill—says that recent scientific breakthroughs mean the virus could be eliminated in the state by 2020.  

“As a result of recent advances in HIV treatments and testing technologies, particularly the introduction of HIV prevention drug PrEP and the high uptake of treatment which we now know prevents transmission, we now have the ability to virtually eliminate HIV transmission in NSW by the end of the decade,” Parkhill says.

“After over 30 years of battling HIV/AIDS, we are currently experiencing the lowest rates of new HIV transmissions since 1985. This means that we now have the very real capacity to end HIV transmission within the near future. This is especially significant for the tens of thousands of individuals, family members and friends throughout Australia who have been affected by the virus.

HIV positive life expectancy nears general population's in the West
Advances in treatment and testing have led to a significant increase in the life expectancy of HIV positive people, a study in The Lancet HIV says.

Parkhill is calling on the community to sign up as volunteers for this year’s Red Ribbon Appeal.

“The event is our most important fundraising activity for the year as the money we raise through the Ending HIV Red Ribbon Appeal is vital in helping ACON to run programs and services that are essential to ending the HIV epidemic in NSW,” Parkhill says.

“By volunteering to sell ribbons on the street or in your workplace, or by purchasing and wearing a red ribbon, you can help raise money to fund programs and services that are vital to ending HIV transmission in NSW.

"You’ll also be helping spread the word about how we can end HIV by testing often, treating early and staying safe."

The 2017 Red Ribbon Street Appeal will take place on Wednesday 29 November, Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December (World AIDS Day).

A blindfolded HIV+ man asked people to leave him messages, and the results will restore your faith in humanity
The video is part of a social experiment to test how sympathetic the general public would be towards someone living with HIV.

“Now is the time for us to work together to free our community from HIV transmission," says Parkhill. 

"It’s history in the making and we can all be a part of that by supporting the Ending HIV Red Ribbon Appeal. Any contribution helps us to help others so please be generous and volunteer to be part of our team for World AIDS Day, and make a difference that will last forever.”

For more information, you can check out the Red Ribbon Appeal website

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