World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1, to raise awareness of the deadly epidemic of AIDS. AIDS has acquired immunodeficiency syndrome which is believed to have taken the lives of at least 25 million people since the first case in 1989.
To make you aware of the importance of this day and the spread of this disease, we are here to walk through it in a detailed manner.
World AIDS Day History
World AIDS Day was first established in the year 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter at the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. The Director of the Global Programme on AIDS liked their idea and recommended December 1 to be World AIDS Day in the year 1988.
When the first World AIDS Day was celebrated, a total of 90,000 to 150,000 people were already suffering from HIV. In 1996, when the United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) became operational, it took charge of the promotion and planning of World AIDS Day. It built the World AIDS Day campaign in 1997 and highlighted the issue throughout the year. The campaign finally became an independent organization in 2004.
In 2016, it was debated by many AIDS-related NGOs that World AIDS Day should be renamed World HIV Day. Though the name was not replaced, the day gained significance across the globe with each passing year.
World AIDS Day Significance
World AIDS Day is a reminder that AIDS is still a relevant disease that needs to be addressed. It has not vanished yet. The day marks the importance of raising awareness about the malignant disease and ways to tackle it.
World AIDS Day makes us realize that there is a need to raise more funds, provide better living conditions to people suffering from HIV, build better medical facilities for them, and most importantly, educate people about this disease.
How is World AIDS Day Celebrated?
World AIDS Day is celebrated with various campaigns being organized all across the globe with people making banners, and posters, and going out for rallies supporting the people suffering from HIV.
People also participate in concerts and memorials, lectures, and debates to honor the people who lost their lives due to AIDS. people often wear a red ribbon which is a symbol of solidarity and support for the HIV-suffering people.
Various organizations also raise funds to provide better health facilities while also educating the world about the epidemic of AIDS!
World AIDS Day Theme for the Last 5 Years
The theme for World AIDS Day 2023 is “Let communities lead”. Today, millions do not have access to proper health facilities for the treatment of the HIV Virus. There are people whose voice is not heard!
This theme will address the same issues and try to bring about a change in handling and managing this epidemic of AIDS!
The first themes of World AIDS Day focused on children and youngsters but soon with people objecting that HIV can be spread to people of all ages, the themes evolved every year. Here is a list of a few themes from previous years:
2016: Hands up for #HIVprevention
2017: My Health, My Right
2018: Know your Status
2019: Communities Make the Difference
2020: Global Solidarity Shared Responsibility
2021: Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice
What Is AIDS?
AIDS is a chronic, deadly disease that can be spread through the human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV. It is basically a sexually transmitted disease that can also be spread through infected blood, to a child who is breastfed by an infected mother, and through the use of infected needles.
Symptoms Of AIDS
The following are the symptoms of this disease:
- Night sweats
- muscle aches and joint pain
- weight loss
- swollen lymph nodes
- sore throat
- Oral yeast infection
Do you Know?
- In the year 2022, there were a total of 39 million people living with HIV.
- Out of the 39 million, 1.7 million were newly infected.
- In 2022, a total of 6,30,000 people died because of AIDS.
- People taking antiretroviral therapy in 2022 were 29.8 million.
- To date, 85.6 million have been infected with HIV and 40.04 million have lost their lives due to HIV since its first case.