The World celebrates December 1, every year as World Aids Day to commemorate the victims of this deadly disease – AIDS. It is a day where governments, health authorities, non-governmental organisations, and citizens round the globe pay homage in remembrance to those who died because of AIDS and also stand in solidarity with those suffering from it.
Some facts about World Aids Day:
- It is one of the eight global programs undertaken by World Health Organisation (WHO), the other seven being World Immunization Week, World Hepatitis Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day, World Health Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Blood Donor Day.
- Over 35 million people have succumbed to and lost their lives to AIDS in the last three decades.
- HIV is primarily transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, contaminated blood transfusions, from mother to child, via pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding or via hypodermic needles.
- Over 40 million are presently affected by AIDS, which makes it one of the most important global health issue.
A recent study suggests that over 2 million people die because of AIDS every year, of which 27,000 are children. (ALSO READ- World AIDS Day 2016: What is the theme and objective of World AIDS Day 2016?)
- The idea for World Aids Day was conceived by two public information officers, James Bunn and Thomas Netter, for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organisation in 1987. Later, in the year 1995, the President of the United States official proclaimed December 1, as the World Aids Day.
- Every International AIDS Day focuses on a theme chosen in consultation from WHO. The theme for the 2016 World AIDS Day is ‘Hands Up For #HIVprevention’. The previous themes for World AIDS Days were as – On the fast track to end AIDS (2015), Close the gap (2014), Zero Discrimination (2013), Together we will end AIDS (2012), Getting to Zero (2011), and Universal Access and Human Rights (2010).
With advancement of technology and mind-baffling discoveries in the field of medical science, there have been improvement in the lives of people affected by AIDS. However, there has not been any discovery for the cure of this disease.
- What is HIV then?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It damages one’s immune system, and then eventually interferes with body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause AIDS. It is said that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
- HIV vs AID
HIV is a virus that weakens or destroys one’s immune system, while AIDS is a condition that is caused by HIV. HIV is considered the final stage of the condition. Symptoms for HIV and AIDs vary from person to person, as symptoms of each condition come from opportunistic infections.
- World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for the citizens globally to stand in support of the people affected by AIDS and unite against the uphill task. With millions of people died and millions of people who live with it – AIDS have become of the worst pandemics of all time.
- What should you do World AIDS Day?
As an individual one often questions oneself as to what way can he or she contribute to the cause of AIDS. Well, everyone has their own limitations, but wearing a red ribbon is one way to show support to World AIDS Day. It is the least one can do.
The history of HIV and Aids in the US began in 1981, when the country witnessed a new illness among a small number of gay men. Although Africa is believed to be the origin of AIDS, the US was the first country to bring the virus into the public consciousness.