World AIDS Day - 01 December.

Every year, World AIDS Day is held on December 01st to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and to mourn those who have died from the disease.

According to the most recent statistics, nearly 38 million people around the world are living with HIV. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981. Since that time, 75 million people have become infected with HIV. Tens of millions of people have died of AIDS-related causes.

Much has been done, especially in the last few decades, to address the AIDS epidemic. While there is still no cure, significant progress has been made. The number of newly infected people has declined. The number of AIDS-related deaths has gone down. Additionally, the number of people receiving effective treatment has increased.

The first HIV treatment was introduced in 1987. Since then, numerous drugs have been developed to treat HIV. There are also drugs available that reduce the risk of contracting HIV through needles or sexual activity. Available treatment and early detection have helped to increase the life expectancy of those infected with HIV/AIDS. In 1996, the life-expectancy of a 20-year old with HIV was 39 years. Today, life expectancy is 78 years.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. The day was conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter. The two of them were public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS. Dr. Jonathan Mann, director of the organization approved the concept. Bunn proposed the date of December 1st. He felt this date would receive maximum news coverage by the western news media. The date follows U.S. elections but precedes the Christmas holiday. The White House marks World AIDS day by displaying a 28-foot red ribbon on the building’s North Portico. The ribbon symbolizes the commitment of the United States to combat the world AIDS epidemic through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).


The inequalities which perpetuate the AIDS pandemic are not inevitable; we can tackle them. This World AIDS Day, 1 December, UNAIDS is urging each of us to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.  

The “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. It is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS. These include:  

Increase availability, quality and suitability of services, for HIV treatment, testing and prevention, so that everyone is well-served. 

Reform laws, policies and practices to tackle the stigma and exclusion faced by people living with HIV and by key and marginalised populations, so that everyone is shown respect and is welcomed. 

Ensure the sharing of technology to enable equal access to the best HIV science, between communities and between the Global South and North. 

Communities will be able to make use of and adapt the “Equalize” message to highlight the particular inequalities they face and to press for the actions needed to address them.  

Data from UNAIDS on the global HIV response reveals that during the last two years of COVID-19 and other global crises, progress against the HIV pandemic has faltered, resources have shrunk, and millions of lives are at risk as a result.  

Four decades into the HIV response, inequalities still persist for the most basic services like testing, treatment, and condoms, and even more so for new technologies.  

Young women in Africa remain disproportionately affected by HIV, while coverage of dedicated programmes for them remains too low. In 19 high-burden countries in Africa, dedicated combination prevention programmes for adolescent girls and young women are operating in only 40% of the high HIV incidence locations. 

Only a third of people in key populations— including gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, sex workers, and prisoners—have regular prevention access. Key populations face major legal barriers including criminalisation, discrimination and stigma. 

We have only eight years left before the 2030 goal of ending AIDS as a global health threat. Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be addressed as a matter of urgency. In a pandemic, inequalities exacerbate the dangers for everyone. Indeed, the end of AIDS can only be achieved if we tackle the inequalities which drive it. World leaders need to act with bold and accountable leadership. And all of us, everywhere, must do all we can to help tackle inequalities too.  

Activities will build up to World AIDS Day from November. The World AIDS Day report will be released in late November.  

On World AIDS Day on 1st December, events will take place across the world. These activities will be led not only by official bodies but also, most importantly, by communities. Through photos and videos shared by groups on social media and aggregated by UNAIDS, people will

Source: www.un.org


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