World AIDS Day
The World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year all over the world.
It was founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was the first ever global health day with a motto of raising public awareness about Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a pandemic disease caused by the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which damages the human immune system.
In 2020, 6,90,000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.7 million people were newly infected, with nearly 62% of these new infections occurring among key populations and their partners.
On World AIDS Day 2020, WHO is calling on global leaders and citizens to rally for “global solidarity” to overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19 on the HIV response.
HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care services are all being disrupted particularly in countries with fragile health systems.
Slowing progress means the world will be missing the “90-90-90” targets for 2020, which were to ensure that: 90% of people living with HIV are aware of their status, 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are receiving treatment, and 90% of all people receiving treatment have achieved viral suppression.
Any slowing down in provision of these services will leave many vulnerable populations at greater risk of HIV infection and AIDS-related deaths and missing these intermediate targets will make it difficult to achieve the target of elimination of AIDS by 2030.
- It reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away and there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
- It is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide.