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World AIDS Day 2021: Current Theme, History, Significance and Key facts

Shikha Goyal

World AIDS Day 2021: The day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died due to HIV-related illnesses. 

HIV is a major public health issue that affects millions of people across the world. According to WHO;

- In 2020, 37,700,000 estimated people living with HIV.

- In 2020, 680,000 people died from HIV-related causes.

- In 2020, 1,500,000 people were newly infected.

- Around 73% of people living with HIV received lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2020.

World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December to spread awareness about the HIV epidemic, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward ending HIV.

Join @NIH_OAR December 1, 2021 to commemorate #WorldAIDSDay. The event will highlight the important role of research in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.This virtual event is open to the public and will be videocast live, https://t.co/C4fBfn68pY pic.twitter.com/Y3rRERG6hw

— WA Dept. of Health (@WADeptHealth) November 30, 2021

New CDC #VitalSigns report shows continuing inequities in #HIV prevention and treatment. As we mark #WorldAIDSDay tomorrow, learn how tailoring strategies, especially for Black and Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, can help end the HIV epidemic. https://t.co/9F68x9u8Xa

— CDC (@CDCgov) November 30, 2021

AIDS is a chronic disease that is caused by the HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) virus. The full form of AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Due to the disease immune system becomes weak and people are more vulnerable to infections and diseases.

Do you know where is HIV found in the body? It is found in all the tissues of the body but transmitted through the body fluid of an infected person via blood, semen, breast milk, etc. It mainly attacks the T-cells in the immune system. HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, blood transmission, perinatal transmission. Symptoms may include fever, joint pain, muscle aches, sore throat, tiredness, weakness, unintentional weight loss, etc.

 World AIDS Day: History

The history of World AIDS Day dates back to the year 1987.  This day was conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS. These officers worked for the World Health Organization in the Global Programme on AIDS
James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter took their proposal for World AIDS Day to the director of the Global Programme on AIDS Jonathan Mann who liked the idea. Since then, he recommended the fist World AIDS day to be commenced on December 1, 1988. 
United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, abbreviated to UNAIDS came into existence in 1996 and then World AIDS day was organized. Various themes were structured that was proposed as one of the major changes in organizing Worlds AIDS Day. 
The history of World AIDS Day dates back to the year 1987.  This day was conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS. These officers worked for the World Health Organisation in the Global Programme on AIDS. James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter took their proposal for World AIDS Day to the director of the Global Programme on AIDS Jonathan Mann who liked the idea. Since then, he recommended the first World AIDS Day to be commenced on December 1, 1988. United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, abbreviated to UNAIDS came into existence in 1996 and then World AIDS day was organised. Various themes were structured that were proposed as one of the major changes in organizing Worlds AIDS Day. 
 
READ| Origin and Evolution of AIDS
 
World AIDS Day Theme

- The theme for 2021 is "End inequalities. End AIDS”. 

- The theme for 2020 was "Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact”

- The theme for 2019 was “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community”

- The Theme of the year 2018 was "Know your Status".

- The theme of the year 2017 was "Right to health".

- The theme of the year 2016 was "Hands up for HIV protection: Access Equity Right Now"

.- The theme from the year 2011 to 2015 was "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths”.

- The theme of the year 2010 was “Universal Access and Human Rights”.

World AIDS Day: Objectives

The main purpose of celebrating World AIDS Day every year is to build new and effective policies and programmes to strengthen the systems of health and also to increase the capacity of health sectors towards HIV or AIDS.

- To guide member states for increasing the prevention and control measures for HIV or AIDS globally.
- To make awareness among the people about antiretroviral medicines which can help them to fight against HIV infection.
- To offer technical support to the member states for implementing the plan for prevention, treatment for HIV or AIDS which will include testing, counseling, antiretroviral therapy, etc.
- To encourage students from schools, colleges to contribute to the campaign organised for AIDS.
- To decrease the number of patients infected by HIV or AIDS.

Therefore, we have seen what is AIDS/ HIV infection. How is it affecting human life, what is the purpose of celebrating World AIDS Day or why is it celebrated every year, etc?

READ| Important Days and Dates in December 2021

 

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