37.9m people live with the disease
The global statistics of the number of people living with HIV/Aids stood at about 37.9-million people at the end of last year.
UNAIDS reports that 36.2-million were adults and 1.7-million were children older than 15 years.
Of these, an estimated 1.7-million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV last year and 160 000 infections were among children aged 0-14.
According to the Soul City Institute, the disease still spreads at an alarming rate.
The institute believes one of the many reasons for the spread of the disease is that people who are HIV-positive are still afraid to speak out.
And although antiretrovirals are free and education about the virus is freely available, many communities still believe that (HIV/Aids) will never reach them.
According to the organisation, the disease is still spreading because there is a belief that if individuals insist on using condoms, their partners may think they
are HIV- positive.
So to prove they are not, they end up being reckless in their sexual lives.
It has also come to the institute’s attention that young people are being turned away from clinics and other institutions when they ask for condoms.
Increased drug abuse is also escalating the numbers of HIV infections, while some women resort to sexual favours to make ends meet, further spreading the virus.
By Somaya Stockenstroom