World Aids Day is an international event observed worldwide on 1st December every year to raise public awareness about AIDS. AIDS is an abbreviation of Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome and it is a pandemic disease caused due to the infection of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
The First World AIDS Day was observed in the year 1988 and since then, every year; an international event is organized by the WHO (World Health Organization) to raise awareness among the people about this pandemic disease and mourning for those who have died due to this diseases.
In the year 1995, the President of the United States officially declared this day and after this, countries across the world started participating in this event. The World AIDS Day has become the most recognized health day’s celebrations celebrated globally by government organizations, NGO, health bodies, civil societies, health officials, and it gives the key opportunity to all the stakeholders to conduct various programs like:
- Conduct the awareness program in the School, Colleges, Office, etc.
- Make people aware of HIV and various methods of prevention & control.
- Conduct the speech and discussion forum to discuss all the information related to AIDS.
World Health Organization has marked eight global public health days and among the 8 days, world AIDS Day is one of them. The other seven days are World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day.
WORLD AIDS DAY HISTORY
The first world AIDS Day was observed by the two public information officer namely Thomas Netter and James W. Bunn in August in 1987. They were the officials of the AIDS global program in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1987, when they visualized the idea of world Aids Day, then they shared their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann (Director of the AIDS Global Program).
He approved the idea and recommended to celebrate this day on 1st of December. The director of the AIDS global program wanted to celebrate this day far from the Christmas holidays or the US election time so that media could pay all their attention to cover this day and broadcast the news across the world.
In the year 1996, the joined united national program on HIV/AIDS also known as UNAIDS came into existence and they started to promote this day globally. They urged the world to celebrate this day whole a year and in 1997, they also launched the World AIDS Campaign to focus on the AIDS programs, better communications, disease prevention, and disease awareness.
Initially, the world AIDS Day themes were mainly focusing on the children & young people which were later recognized as a family disease as any person of any age group can be infected with HIV.
OBJECTIVES OF WORLD AIDS DAY
As mentioned above, every year on 1st of December, we celebrate World AIDS Day and the primary objective behind the celebration of this day is to build effective health policies and programs towards HIV/AIDS.
Some of the major objectives of World AIDS day are as follows:
- Support the member countries worldwide and guide them with the latest prevention and control measures of AIDS.
- Conduct the seminar, speeches, discussion forum, etc. to spread awareness among people about the antiretroviral medicines or other commodities which can help them to fight against HIV/AIDS.
What is the theme of World AIDS Day 2019?
Theme of world Aids day-2019 is “Communities make the difference”. The primary objective behind the selection of this theme is to give an opportunity to recognize the essential role of communities played in the society for spreading awareness and how the communities can continue to play the same role at the international, national & local levels. If we say communities, it means the inclusion of peer educators, counselors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.
Communities play a significant role in the AIDS response and they work in many different ways. They ensure that response remains relevant keeping people at the center and leaving no one behind.
Why the World AIDS Day is Important
AIDS is one of the most important global public health issues. With reference to data published on Wikipedia, as of 2017, we have found two dangerous facts:
- As per an estimate, a number in-between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people have been killed by AIDS.
- Globally, more than 36.7 million people are living with HIV.
- Close to 1.9 million in 2005 and 1 million people have been decreased due to AIDS globally.
- Approximately 25 million people died from 1981 to 2007 because of HIV infection.
Even after the access to antiretroviral treatment at many places in the world, more than 2 million people in 2007 were infected with this epidemic disease.