First recognized in 1988, World AIDS Day falls on December 1 of each year.
World AIDS Day is dedicated to spreading awareness of the AIDS pandemic spread by the spread of HIV infection and to mourning those who have died from the disease. An estimated 40 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since 1981, and an estimated 37 million are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health problems in recorded history. Despite recent improvements in treatment, the AIDS epidemic still claims approximately two million lives each year, more than 250,000 of which are children.
WORLD AIDS DAY CALENDAR
1920s: a pandemic
The HIV-1 virus strain emerged to circulate in Kinshasa, closely related to a virus found in chimpanzees.
1981 – US Recognition
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report AIDS for the First Time
1986 – 1 million Americans affected
According to reports from “The New York Times”
1987 – First antiretroviral drugs
AZT (zidovudine) is the first medicine available to treat HIV.
2013 – “A functional cure”
12 of 75 people treated in a French study were “functionally cured” of HIV and did not experience a return of the virus even after stopping antiretroviral therapy.
HOW TO OBSERVE WORLD AIDS DAY
Wear a red ribbon
Wearing a red bow on your lapel is the most recognized way to show your support on World AIDS Day. Red symbolizes the blood and pain caused by the disease, anger at global inaction to combat the epidemic, a warning to take the disease seriously, and a symbol of love, passion and tolerance towards those affected by the disease. Check online to find a tape provider that supports a charitable cause.
Donate to an AIDS charity
There are a large number of national and international non-profit organizations dedicated to combating the disease and the problems associated with its spread. Check online and consider whether you would like to support an organization in the United States, where deaths have been declining since the mid-1990s but the infection continues to affect thousands of people each year, or perhaps an organization focused on infection in sub-Saharan Africa, where adult HIV prevalence has reached 1 in 20 people and 1.2 million people die of HIV / AIDS each year.
Attend a candlelight vigil
Most major cities in the US host candlelight vigils on World AIDS Day as a way to visually commemorate those lost to the disease and vow to fight it in the future. Check online to find a vigil near you and head over to show your support. Don’t forget to share your experience on social media to make sure your friends have the idea in mind and to show your support.
WHY WORLD AIDS DAY IS IMPORTANT
AIDS impacts everyone
In its early years, some criticized World AIDS Day for focusing on children and young people, but organizers sought to alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the disease by primarily affecting gay men, increasing recognition that it is a disease. family. HIV / AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, globally, and of 1.8 million new HIV infections in 2016, 43 percent were women.
Since 2012, the multi-year theme of World AIDS Day has been to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from AIDS-related diseases and zero discrimination. In 2016, new infections among young women ages 15-24 were 44% higher than among men of the same age group, suggesting that the deaths of high-profile AIDS-related male celebrities such as Freddie Mercury, Robert Mapplethorpe and Rock Hudson have continued to overshadow the reality of new infection rates among women in the public imagination. World AIDS Day seeks to challenge those perceptions and protect everyone.
Equal access to treatment
Research shows that the stigma associated with sex work and LGBT populations, internationally, is a growing factor in unequal access to effective treatment. International funding against AIDS first started to decline in 2015, but even so, less than half of people living with HIV / AIDS have access to antiretroviral treatment worldwide. It has never been more important to draw attention to inequalities in treatment, to stop them from spreading once and for all.