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We celebrate World Aids Day every year on December 1 to aware people about HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). All United Nations member-countries celebrate this day. The day was first observed in 1988. It was first only a campaign under the World Health Organization. Now, UNAIDS operates and works year long with the same agendas. People wear the symbolic red ribbon, synonymous to the day, as a symbol of their solidarity with people fighting with HIV and AIDS.

On this day, people from all the countries in the world try to spread knowledge about AIDS to the truly needy one and those people who are most vulnerable to this disease. HIV and AIDS are especially dangerous in rural or village areas. People there believe using contraceptive devices is immoral while prostitution and other aid risky stuff are rampant. We also mourn the people who lost their lives fighting AIDS while making efforts to prevent more HIV/AIDS-related deaths. The efforts remain the same again for the World Aids Day 2019.

What is HIV / AIDs?

World Aids Day 2019 'Community by Community' (3)

Photo: Unsplash/ Daan Stevens

Though addressed together, HIV and AIDS are not the same things. HIV is a virus one contracts through unsafe sexual intercourse. Whereas, AIDS is a life-threatening condition caused by HIV.

One can contract HIV via blood transfusion, drug injections, semen, and vaginal fluids, etc. It can also be transferred from an infected mother to her infant during pregnancy. Similarly, it can transfer during childbirth, if the baby is exposed to her blood or vaginal fluid, and through breast milk. Meanwhile, when one suffers from AIDS human’s immune system progressively fails. AIDS interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease, your immunity system.

There’s no definite cure for HIV/AIDS till this date, but there are a few treatments that can help control it. Antiretroviral therapy or ART with inhibitors can ease the pain for some time. One with HIV/AIDS may have to take medicines life long to battle their condition. Depending on the HIV subtype, a person can only survive from nine to 11 yrs without any treatment.

Theme and campaigns for World AIDS day 2019:

World Aids Day 2019 'Community by Community' (3)

Photo: Pixabay/ Lechenie Narkomanii

World Aids Day this year has the theme of ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community’. The purpose of this theme is to draw attention towards the importance of tailoring efforts for, by, and in communities. With its domestic and global HIV programs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps communities select the most effective tools to diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond to this disease.

According to WHO, it is estimated that more than 37 million people were living with HIV, by the end of 2018. Among them, 79% received testing and knew their status while 62% were accessing treatment. Whereas about 53% had achieved suppression of the HIV virus with reduced risk of infecting others.

And as for 2019, WHO is highlighting the difference, these communities are making in order to end the HIV. The campaign is looking out to incorporate and mobilize youth and locals to expedite the effects of the campaign.

WHO is also organizing an event of‘20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs’ for World AIDS Day 2019 in Africa. This event will take place in Kigali, Rwanda (ICASA 2019) from December 2 to 7.

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