Under the slogan “I Can Prevent, Can You?”, Mongolia has planned various measures to raise public awareness about AIDS/HIV and increase public responsibility in observation of this year’s World Aids Day, December 1.

Health experts underlined the importance of cooperation between the health and other sectors, and the need for increased engagement of private and public sectors for preventing AIDS/HIV.

In observation of the day, the Ulaanbaatar Heath Office and cinemas in the capital to broadcast videos about AIDS/HIV and ways to prevent the spread of the disease before every film screening on World AIDS Day. Red ribbons, the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV, will also be distributed to private businesses and organizations.

World AIDS Day, marked every December 1, highlights the success of worldwide efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, as well as the importance of continued support for these efforts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that global efforts have resulted in 19.5 million people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in 2016. Despite this progress, HIV/AIDS continues to be a significant global public health issue.

In 2016, an estimated 36.7 million people worldwide were living with HIV, about one million people died from AIDS-related illnesses, and 1.8 million people become newly infected with HIV, according to CDC.

As of November 20, 249 cases of HIV and 40 deaths were recorded in Mongolia to date and in 2017, 25 new cases were registered along with deaths of five HIV patients, as reported by the National Center of Communicable Diseases.

It was also reported that 13 HIV patients gave birth to 19 children and that these children had not contracted the disease.

Specialists stressed the need to boost preventive measures for AIDS and HIV in target groups, particularly among young men, as around 56 percent of all HIV patients in Mongolia are between the ages of 20 and 44, and 80 percent of them are male.

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