The News Lens international edition is sponsored by Tutor A B C
World AIDS Day is on December 1 every year. In Taiwan, after the first case of AIDS was discovered in December 1984, the total number of AIDS patients has risen to 30,432 people, including 993 foreigners, up until September 2015. In recent years, the infection rates among the elderly and housewives have been rising gradually as well.

Currently the oldest surviving HIV-infected male is 91 years old, and the female is 86. They were each diagnosed with HIV at the age of 82 and 74. They both were infected through heterosexual intercourse, and their conditions are currently under control through regular medication.

RTI reports, on November 27, UNICEF announced that in the past 15 years, the numbers of teenagers that died from AIDS had tripled, and most of them had been infected during infancy. For teenagers aged from 15 to 19, 26 people get infected with HIV per hour. Among the two million teenagers with HIV, about half of them live in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.

In addition, Sub-Saharan Africa is where HIV and AIDS is most serious in the world, especially for females; 70% of the new infection cases in teenagers aged from 15 to 19 are female.

UNICEF’s global HIV / AIDS Program Director Craig McClure says that at present there are 2.6 million HIV-infected people under the age of 15 worldwide, but only one third of the people are under medical treatment.

However, since 2000, nearly 1.3 million children have avoided HIV mainly because of the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Preventive measures in pregnant women have helped drop the AIDS mortality rate of children under the age of four by 60%.

UDN reports, the Society of Preventive Medicine in Taiwan once commissioned director Chen Yong-xu to film a documentary on AIDS patients. Chen says that each patient has a story and all these stories have made up the 30 years of AIDS history in Taiwan. With the advancement of antiviral drugs, the patients hope that through their own stories they can tell the world, “We will be happy, so do not worry about us."

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang