The first of December is
considered as the World AIDS day around the globe. This is the day when people
unite and take a vow against the dreaded disease, donate for the betterment of
the people infected with the virus and remember those who succumbed to it. The
HIV/AIDS awareness and support is typically shown by displaying a red ribbon
pinned to their dresses.
The world has seen a number of
AIDS days come and go by with the first ever World AIDS day coined in 1988.
From the day it was started, a number of campaigns and even have been organized
to spread awareness amongst the people. The theme for World AIDS Day this year
is "Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation."
The credit for conceptualizing a
day wholly for AIDS and its awareness goes to two public information officers
for the Global Program on AIDS at the World Health Organization, James Bunn
and Thomas Netter. Dr Jonathan Mann, the former head of the Global Program on
Aids (known now as UNAIDS) approved the idea.
Impact of World AIDS day
In 2013, 35 million people were
living with HIV, 2.1 million people were newly infected with the virus and some
1.5 million people died of AIDS according to UN data. HIV/AIDS is one of the
worst pandemics of the world; by far the greatest part of the HIV/AIDS burden
is in sub-Saharan Africa. The World
AIDS day plays a major role in creating awareness and drawing attention to the
current status of the disease.
far a lot of people have been educated on AIDS and its prevention. The LGBT
community, commercial sex workers etc are the groups that have been targeted
the most by HIV and the number of infections has reduced due to the tireless
campaigns and awareness programs of the officials. According to a leading campaign group
working against HIV, the world has finally reached "the beginning of the
end" of the AIDS pandemic that has infected and killed millions in the
past 30 years. The number of people getting infected with HIV last year was
significantly lesser than the number of HIV-positive people.
Still a long way to go
Even though it seems as if the
end of AIDS is nearing, officials belonging to Anti-AIDS organizations warn
that reaching this milestone does not mean the end of AIDS was around the
corner. Just the tipping point has been passed at the global level. There are
many countries that are just joining the fight against AIDS.
Social stigma attached to
HIV/AIDS, the average person being scared of sharing a drink with a HIV
infected person etc, shows that people need to become a lot more aware of the
disease. Hence, the importance of World AIDS day is to pledge to ourselves that
we will be more humane to the HIV infected people and donate as much as we can
to the cause.