HIV Awareness Campaign. Commemorative Postage Stamp June 8, 2011:- The year 2011 marks 30 years of AIDS. Over that period, AIDS has claimed more than 25 million lives and more than 60 million people have become infected with HIV, according to the United Nations. Each day, more than 7,000 people are newly infected with the virus, including 1000 children. No country has been unaffected by this worldwide epidemic.
A report by the United Nations Secretary – General, Ban Ki-moon, recognizes that HIV programmes are working. Global HIV incidence is declining, across to treatment is expanding, and there is a global movement to demand respect for the dignity and human rights of everyone vulnerable to, and affected by HIV. The epidemic and the response it has generated have changed our world, elevating global health inequity on the worldwide political agenda and placing people at the centre of health, development and human rights efforts.
“These accomplishments, while promising, are insufficient and in jeopardy,” says the Secretary – General’s report. “Stigma, discrimination and gender inequality continue to undermine efforts to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. An unsustainable trajectory of costs and the effects of a global economic downturn combine to threaten progress.”
The need to sensitize the population to the AIDS risk continues. As part of the United Nations family working towards achieving the Millennium Goal for Development of halting or beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015, the Universal Postal Union , the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the international Labor Organization and UNI Global Union joined together to launch a worldwide HIV-prevention campaign through the postal network in 2009.
The campaign’s first phase aims to broaden the larger public’s knowledge about how HIV is transmitted. The global postal network is being used as a unique vehicle for conveying an important HIV-prevention message. Eye-catching posters, Postcards and informative materials are on display in post offices in several countries worldwide are participating in this phase.
The second phase focuses on raising awareness of HIV prevention among the postal workforce. With over 5 million employees, the global postal sector is one of the largest employers in the world. Without a healthy and productive workforce, Posts cannot meet their customers’ important communication needs. This is why it is important for postal staff, their families and the postal sector as a whole to be aware of health risks, such as HIV infection. During this phase, the UPU is working with the International Labour Organization and UNI Global Union. Guidelines have been developed to help Posts put in place appropriate HIV workplace policies. The purpose of these policies is to protect and assist postal employees living with HIV and provide training to all staff about the importance of HIV prevention. The guidelines will be distributed to UPU member countries in 2011.
The final phase of the public campaign uses philately to draw attention to the fact that the AIDS epidemic has been around for 30 years and the importance of protecting oneself from HIV. The worldwide campaign culminates in June 2011, as the world marks 30 years since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. To mark this landmark year, many UPU member countries will issue special stamps or other philatelic products to mark 30 years of the AIDS epidemic. Several stamp issues are planned to coincide with UNAIDS’ high-level meetings taking place in June 2011 during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.On HIV Awareness Campaign, Pakistan Post is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs. 8/- denomination on June 8, 2011.