On World AIDS Day, here’s how the world looks

Image Courtesy: Google Images
Image Courtesy: Google Images

Currently, more than 35 million people across the globe live with HIV/AIDS. Around 3.3 million of them are under the age of 15. In 2012, an estimated 2.3 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 260,000 of them were under the age of 15. Every day about 6,300 people contract HIV— that’s 262 every hour. In 2012, 1.6 million people died of AIDS and 210,000 of them were under the age of 15. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 75 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 36 million have died of HIV-related causes.

Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 2.39 million

India has a relatively low rate of HIV infection as compared to Africa and the Asia Pacific region. According to the 2012 National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) report, which is a Government of India institution, an estimated 2.39 million people are currently living with HIV/ AIDS in India. Of these, 0.31% people are above the age of 15. HIV epidemics are severe in the south and north-east of India. The highest estimated adult HIV occurrence is found in Manipur at 0.78%, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 0.76%, Karnataka at 0.69% and Nagaland at 0.66%.

In the southern states, HIV is primarily spread through heterosexual contact. Infections in the Northeast are mainly found amongst injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 25 million

More than 70% of all people living with HIV, which is estimated to be around 25 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. This includes 88% of the world’s HIV-positive children. In 2012, an estimated 1.6 million people in the region became newly infected. An estimated 1.2 million adults and children have died of AIDS, which accounts for 75 percent of the world’s AIDS deaths in 2012.

The Asia-Pacific
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 5 million

In the Asia-Pacific region, as many as 351,000 people were newly infected in 2012, bringing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the region to nearly 5 million. AIDS claimed approximately 261,000 lives here in 2012.

The Caribbean
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 250,000

Approximately 12,000 people were infected in the Caribbean in 2012, bringing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS there to over 250,000. AIDS claimed an estimated 11,000 lives in 2012.

Central and South America
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.5 million

There were an estimated 86,000 new HIV/AIDS infections and 52,000 AIDS-related deaths in Central and South America in 2012. This region currently has 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS.

North Africa and the Middle East
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 260,000

Approximately 260,000 people are living with HIV in this region and an estimated 32,000 people were newly infected in 2012. An estimated 17,000 adults and children have died of the virus here.

Eastern and Western Europe
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.3 million

In 2012, an estimated 130,000 people were newly infected with HIV, bringing the number of people living with HIV/AIDS to 1.3 million in Europe. HIV/AIDS claimed 91,000 lives in 2012. HIV infections have increased by 13% (that is 100,000 people) since 2006. The majority of people diagnosed with HIV were drug abusers who use intravenous needles and gay men. Less than 1% of the population was HIV positive across the continent.

In Western and Central Europe, there were 29,000 new cases of HIV, bringing the number of people living with HIV here to 860,000 in 2012. An estimated 7,600 people in these regions died of AIDS in 2012. However, Ukraine, Belarus and Spain were found to have the highest HIV rates among needle users, with 21, 17 and 16% respectively. The number of AIDS-related deaths in the region has increased from 36,000 in 2001 to 91,000 people last year. New infections among drug users in Greece have risen because of funding cuts in the treatment centres.

What is PEPFAR?

PEPFAR is the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Tanzania is its key partner. In 2013 alone, PEPFAR’s support programs directly helped more than 990,000 people in Tanzania. Of these, 330,000 were orphans and vulnerable children. The lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment was given to more than 444,000 Tanzanians through PEPFAR. This year alone, PEPFAR has diagnosed and counselled over 5 million Tanzanians, of which, an estimated 1.5 million were pregnant women. With PEPFAR’s combined efforts, Tanzanians are less likely to be infected with HIV and the ones living with HIV are hoping to live full lives.

PEPFAR envisions an AIDS-free generation for the entire world. In 2013, PEPFAR and its partners launched the PMTCT (prevent mother-to-child transmission) program which witnessed the millionth HIV-free baby born to an HIV-positive mother. Through various advances in healthcare and, individual and collective behaviourial changes, PEPFAR has reached a tipping point of the epidemic.

Source: UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic 2013; UNAIDS Fact Sheet 2013 and NACO 

Thank you for making us the best start-up

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The Savetime booth at PuneConnect 2013

Savetime thanks PuneConnect’s audience for their immense support and love. We are honoured to have become your favourite healthcare destination in Pune. Yesterday, we saw the announcement at puneconnect.com and we were simply thrilled to know that we got the maximum number of votes for the Audience Choice award for the best start-up in Pune.

The event saw more than 1,000 professionals from IT / ITES and other sectors. We were among the top 27 start-up companies which got shortlisted for a demo at PuneConnect – the city’s largest start-up shootout. Our team stood by us to set up the booth and presented us at their best. A team of 15 people represented Savetime at the event. The team wore tee-shirts that read, ‘If an apple a day doesn’t work, visit savetime.com’. As a welcoming gesture, we gave away apples to people at the event.

We would like to thank our team who make us who we are each day. We are proud of our team for its contribution at the event and for interacting with the audience. On asking how he felt about the grand win, Mitesh  Bohra, co-founder, Savetime said, “An award from the audience is a high that every entrepreneur seeks. I am a dreamer and find a surreal thrill in a start-up environment. At Savetime, it’s not only my dream to bring real patient-centric innovation into the world but also contribute to the rapidly developing start-up ecosystem in India. Audience is the best jury out there and to get such love from them is phenomenal. It’s a very humbling experience. I sincerely thank all our supporters. Time to go back to work where we continue to keep doing what we do best and march forward towards realising our collective dreams — becoming the TripAdvisor of the healthcare industry.”

Team Savetime poses for the shutterbug during a break. Note the basket of apples -- every visitor to the booth got one
Team Savetime poses for the shutterbug during a break. Note the basket of apples — every visitor to the booth got one

A Tile for a Smile – How we did it at Savetime?

jagritiLast week the entire country celebrated the “Joy of Giving” week (02-October to 08-October) by sharing money, time, resources, skills with the less privileged. This is one festival that has gained a huge prominence over the years and though there should not be a fixed period of sharing but having one such week in a year helps focus energies.

At Savetime we celebrated the Joy of Giving week this year by doing our bit, a small contribution for “NFBM Jagriti School for Blind Girls” which is situated at Alandi, Pune.

Jagriti School for Blind Girls is a non-religious and non-political entity, they take care of 140 blind girls who come from across Maharashtra. They provide food, shelter, education, vocational training, help with employment, etc. and tries to make them self-reliant. The school is for the blind and managed and run by the blind. It strives for Equality of Opportunity for the Blind in their Education, Training and Employment.

They have an ambitious goal of expanding their campus by constructing a Hi- Tech Model school complex, which comprises of a school, a hostel and a vocational training center of excellence. Despite of 4 years of construction efforts, the work progress has been slow. The construction is entering a critical phase where flooring needs to be done. They require 10,000/- pieces of tile slabs costing Rs 350/- each.

In an effort to reach out to the community, they have recently launched “A tile for a smile” campaign. The idea is for an individual to at a minimum sponsor one tile that can help bring smile on the faces of the blind girls and can pave the way for their bright future.

We at savetime are proud to be associated with them and happy to help them out in our small way. You too can help them out by taking this campaign to your office, societies or at an individual level.

Many times we want to do something for the less privileged and help out the ones in need but we don’t know how?”.  So we thought of putting our experiences together with the intent that perhaps it will help some of you to plan it in your organizations. Here’s how we did it:

1. Communicate and explain verbally – Now a days there is so much literature that floats in our email box that sometimes we miss the important things. So we communicated verbally about this campaign in a short meeting. This helps as people who have questions can ask them upfront and confusions about the objective can be resolved. In the end tell everyone to expect an email with the details so that it doesn’t get lost in the melee.

2. The Logistics – We kept company envelopes (plain white/brown works too) in which people can put their contribution (Cash/Cheques/DD). Put a notebook along with a pen so that donors can write their name, address, contact number and place it along with their donations, this is very important because anonymous donations are not accepted by NGOs and also because the receipts for the same will be forwarded by the School in the name and address of the contributors. And a glue stick so that people can put their contribution amount, their details and seal the envelope, this is important to keep the secrecy of the donations made. The envelopes are later on opened by the Jagriti School only. Last item, we kept a cardboard box wrapped with a white paper (you can put your company’s logo or any small message for donors) that can hold envelopes (have a big enough box so that it can hold all the envelopes or be ready with multiple boxes if the size is small). You might be surprised with the response by your colleagues, we definitely were.

3. Send out that Email – Once you are ready with the logistics, send out the email giving a context of the earlier discussion. Giving a little detail about the Jagriti School. We used the following in our email:

As part of Joy of Giving week we are supporting the “NFBM Jagriti School For Blind Girls” initiative of “A Tile for a Smile.

We have kept a box in the cabin near reception, if you are interested in donating please put your donation (Cash/Cheque/DD) in the envelope kept alongside the box and drop it in the box. Also provide your details Name, Address, Contact# so that the school can provide you the receipt for the donation amount. Please ensure you stick the envelope before dropping it in the box which will ensure the secrecy of your donation.

Minimum amount for donation is INR 350 (the cost of 1 tile) and you can even donate more if you can and would like to.

If you are writing a cheque or DD, please make it in the name “NFBM Jagriti School For Blind Girls

The box will be kept till 08-October and after that we would forward the donations to Jagriti school.

Please note, this is not mandatory but we would encourage, if you can then please donate.

If you have any questions please revert back to this email.

4. Keep the box for a few days – Depending on the size of your organization keep the box for a few days, even if your organization is small keep it for a minimum of 2 days because sometimes people are just busy, sometimes they forget to carry donation amount, etc.

5. We did it! – At the end of the period call up Jagriti School and someone will be at your office to pickup the donations. Hand over the box infront of everyone to Jagriti School personnel.  Hurrah you did it!

6. Thank Everyone – In the end, don’t forget to thank everyone for their contributions without them it wouldn’t have been possible and give a pat on your back too.

A small initiative of yours can help brightening the lives of many blind girls and they can have a future they never imagined for. So please go ahead and Just Do it!

If there are any other queries regarding arranging the drive you can mail as at accounts@savetime.com. If can find more information about Jagriti School at www.nfbm.org or you can contact Mrs. Sakina Bedi from Jagriti School at 9823061133.