the Biggest Global Issues

What are the biggest global issues that the world is facing right now? All around the world, countries are facing new issues every single day on their own, but despite its borders, the world is constantly facing issues as a whole. What are the biggest global issues that the world is facing together? There are many that affect everybody and require attention from not just one country, but every country.

One of the top global issues today is the continent of Africa. Africa needs support both economically and socially in order to develop and protect human rights, as well as build solid governments and better the lives of the people living there. African countries also need support to promote democratic institutions in order for there to be peace among the nations.

AIDS is another top global issue in the world today. Although new HIV infections have decreased significantly, the global response to HIV/AIDS has to continue to be powerful in order to wipe out the epidemic completely.

The rights of children are another top global issue throughout many different countries. Millions of children do not have access to education, health or protection. Every country should be expanding the opportunities for children and allowing them to exercise the rights that all humans should be allowed.

Climate change is a significant issue that shifts weather patterns. This causes a threat to food production, rising sea levels and many more negative impacts on nature. Climate change is a global issue that directly affects not only humans throughout the world, but animals and the ecosystem itself.

Food insecurity is one of the biggest global issues the world is facing right now. About 795 million people in the world were malnourished between 2014 and 2016. Hunger is known to be the number one risk to human health worldwide, even greater than disease.

Another global issue is inadequate access to clean water and the lack of sanitation and hygiene that goes along with it. This is typically due to bad economics and infrastructure, and often leads to deaths, especially in children, caused by diseases that are spread by unsanitary water.

There are many more problems that the world is facing today, but these are the biggest global issues that the world needs to address now. Some of the issues listed affect not only the human race but animals and nature as well. From diseases to government, the world is facing global issues together every day.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

Working to End the AIDS EpidemicAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the result of an advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection which destroys the body’s immune system. AIDS affects millions of people around the globe. Inadequate medical knowledge leads to a delay in the early treatment of HIV patients.

Since the early 1980s, when AIDS was first clinically recognized, it has claimed nearly 39 million lives worldwide. This has necessitated a global effort to find a cure for this mass epidemic. PEPFAR, The Global Fund and UNAIDS are some of the largest organizations who are working to end the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030.

Poor education is one of the leading contributors to the spread of the AIDS epidemic, since many people suffering from AIDS do not have the necessary knowledge to recognize early signs of the disease and be treated appropriately.

So that AIDS may hopefully be eradicated by the year 2030, UNAIDS has created a program called “90-90-90: treatment for all”. This program ensures that 90 percent of people affected by AIDS will know their medical status and will therefore be able to receive antiretroviral therapy.

Currently, there is no effective AIDS vaccination. However, a combination of antiretroviral therapies administered early in the disease blocks the HIV virus from multiplying in the bloodstream, preventing the development of clinical AIDS.

Before PEPFAR, another organization working to end the AIDS epidemic, only 50,000 people in Africa were being treated with antiretroviral therapy. Now with the help of PEPFAR, over 13.3 million people are being treated globally. Due to these preventative measures, HIV prevalence rates and new HIV infections are on the decline.

To end the AIDS epidemic, countries suffering from high incidences of HIV require more healthcare workers to provide safe communities and treatment for all. Accordingly, The Global Fund invests nearly $4 billion every year in the mobilization of healthcare workers.

UNAIDS has gathered the world’s largest data collection on HIV epidemiology, the best treatment methods, program coverage and finance that is vitally important in order to end the AIDS epidemic.

UNAIDS data enables this organization, as well as others, to accomplish the goals set at the General Assembly of the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. By following this track, these organizations will hopefully eradicate AIDS by the year 2030.

Ending the AIDS epidemic, while saving millions of lives, can serve as a model for revolutionizing worldwide health in other ways. It can motivate other organizations to promote more global health and development efforts, demonstrating that much can be achieved through global unity and evidence-based action.

Too many people worldwide are still affected by HIV and AIDS. Thanks to the work done by organizations such as PEPFAR, The Global Fund and UNAIDS, the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030 is becoming more of a reality each and every day.

– Adrienne Tauscheck

Photo: Flickr

Treating HIV in Saint PetersburgIf Saint Petersburg were the same today as it was ten years ago, it would be known as one of the top five cities in the Russian Federation affected by the HIV virus. However, it is now the fourteenth most affected city. Treating HIV has been a top priority for the city, and as a result it has been able to get the epidemic under control. Saint Petersburg is the first city in the Russian Federation to achieve a steady decline in HIV infections, and fewer people are becoming infected with the virus throughout the city.

Last year, about 1,750 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in Saint Petersburg alone, a number that was even higher in the years before. In total, 42,000 people in the city were living with HIV. The city was able to get 80 percent of the people affected access to services at the Center for AIDS Prevention and Control.

The Center for AIDS Prevention and Control provides antiretroviral therapy (medicine that directly treats HIV), useful information and specialized medical care as well as prevention medicines for both pre-exposure and post-exposure.

Affected citizens in Saint Petersburg can also visit the city AIDS center, where they are able to get new syringes, sterile equipment and other preventative tools such as condoms. Saint Petersburg has also partnered with community organizations that have contributed to treating HIV by testing women for HIV, giving out free condoms and talking to consultants. Unfortunately, Saint Petersburg is one of the only cities in the Russian Federation that provides affected citizens with such a wide range of prevention and treatment.

An important factor in reducing the number of people affected by HIV was the availability of quick HIV testing. That way, someone who is affected can know immediately to begin taking antiretroviral therapy to both treat the disease and prevent any new infections.

The government has been supporting an outdoor advertising campaign teaching residents about HIV prevention services and public service announcements. The advertising has three main messages regarding HIV: the importance of testing, the availability of treatment and the elimination of stigma and discrimination against people with HIV.

Saint Petersburg is a good example of a city that was greatly affected by the HIV epidemic, but through a variety of preventative and treatment measures was able to take control of the epidemic and achieve a drastic shift in the number of people diagnosed.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

organizations fighting HIV and AIDSAs of 2016, more than 36 million people worldwide are living with HIV or AIDS. Though the incidence rate of HIV and AIDS has been decreasing since the late 1990s, UNAIDS’s goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation is still far off. These five organizations fighting HIV and AIDS are contributing to the success of HIV and AIDS prevention as well as helping to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) and counseling for those affected.


Elton John AIDS Foundation

In the midst of the rapidly growing AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and ’90s, singer-songwriter Elton John founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) to provide much-needed financial support in the fight against HIV and AIDS. John believes he is lucky to have avoided the AIDS epidemic as a gay man who partook in extremely risky behavior in the 1980s, including drug abuse. “I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddie Mercury,” he said at the International AIDS Conference in 2012. “Every day I wonder, how did I survive?”

The EJAF aims to dismantle the stigma surrounding those with HIV and AIDS as well as provide financial support for HIV prevention and treatment around the world. The EJAF has two branches—one in the U.S. and one in the U.K.—and has been rated a four-star charity, the highest rating a nonprofit can achieve.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Named the richest man in America for 24 years in a row, Bill Gates has been extremely philanthropic with his wealth. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated more than $41 billion since it was created. A large portion of those donations—approximately $4.6 billion—have gone toward global health initiatives, including HIV prevention and treatment. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funneled money into improving the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, as well as toward the continued research involved in creating a vaccine to prevent HIV. It is one of the most well-known organizations fighting HIV and AIDS.


The Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a recipient of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Those funds have been put toward providing ART to more than 11 million people and preventing the transmission of HIV through the womb from mother to child. Over four million HIV-positive women have received treatment to protect their babies during and after pregnancy.

The Global Fund also fights the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS and provides diverse prevention efforts in order to include children and women. These efforts continue to encourage people to seek preventative measures and treatment rather than avoiding it due to stigma.


Treatment Action Campaign

Africa has the highest burden of HIV and AIDS worldwide. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), founded in 1998, focuses on South Africa and the prevention and treatment methods being employed there. UNAIDS director Dr. Peter Piot considers TAC to be “the smartest activist group of all, worldwide.”

TAC monitors hospitals, trains campaign members on the basic science of HIV and AIDS, and advocates for the right to access healthcare.


amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research

Created during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1985, amfAR has been a leader in AIDS research. Because of the homophobia surrounding HIV and AIDS in the ’80s, many organizations were unwilling to speak out in support of AIDS research. amfAR was established in order to raise private funds for AIDS research, educate the public and support those suffering from HIV and AIDS.

amfAR ultimately kickstarted research that led to the creation of ART. amfAR has also supported HIV prevention methods such as safe needle exchange and safe sex provisions.

Though the HIV and AIDS epidemic is far from over, these organizations fighting HIV and AIDS, as well as many others, are contributing to the health of current and future generations.

– Anna Sheps

Photo: Flickr