World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 every year, as an opportunity to unite against HIV and show worldwide support to HIV patients. World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 to raise awareness about AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), the life threatening condition caused by HIV.
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus that attacks the immune system of an infected person, destroys certain types of white blood cells and slowly reduces his efficiency to fight against any infection or disease. The virus used to be one of the biggest reasons to claim deaths worldwide. But the good news is that the cases of HIV have been reduced worldwide. All thanks to the fierce AIDS awareness campaigns run by WHO globally. Still, there’s a long way to go for the complete eradication of AIDS.
Theme for World AIDS Day 2021
World AIDS day is observed on December 1 and every year there’s a different theme on this day for spreading awareness and standing for one cause. For 2021, the theme is “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice”.
Facts and Importance of HIV AIDS Day
Here are some facts about this disease that everyone should know to make World AIDS Day successful:
1. How AIDS Spreads
The fatal disease spreads because of the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – primarily due to blood/body fluid exchange.
The transmission may be through infected blood or fluids:
- Anal fluid
- Breast milk
- Vaginal fluids
2. How is the Body Affected
The virus decreases the body’s ability to fight against infections and the disease. It gets very difficult to get over from the disease or infections.
3. Four Main Ways of Spread
Mainly AIDS spreads in four ways.
- Through contaminated blood/needle: If a needle or syringe used on the infected person is reused on an uninfected person, then the disease can transfer to the latter.
- Infected mother to child: A pregnant woman who is infected with AIDS can pass it to her foetus or after birth through breast milk.
- Having unprotected sex with an infected person too can lead to the spread of this disease.
- Moreover, if a blood/organ donor happens to be HIV positive, he/she can pass it on to the organ receiver.
4. Red Ribbon
To show solidarity with people with HIV and raise awareness, many people wear red ribbons worldwide. Buy the red ribbon at this HIV AIDS Day and let the world know that you stand with HIV infected people, contributing towards making the world a better place for them as well.
5. No Cure but can be Managed
AIDS doesn’t have treatment till date but it can be managed with proper care and love. HIV infected people usually take antiretroviral drugs for reducing HIV strength. It also hampers the spread and replication. People with HIV infection can live a long life only if proper care, love, and respect is available for them in the society.
6. Get an HIV Test
Figuring out the presence of HIV in early stages is quite helpful to fight against AIDS. This can help the person infected to live a productive and healthy life for the long term. On this HIV AIDS Day, get a test and ensure whether the virus is living in you or not.
Myths about HIV Spreading
People have many myths regarding HIV spread. World AIDS Day fights against those myths by spreading awareness. Here are some biggest myths about its spread:
- Can spread with Mosquito bites
- Sharing swimming pools with AIDS patient or Sharing eating utensils
- Tears and sweat of AIDS patient can spread the virus
- Hugging and touching AIDS patient
- When the infected person coughs/sneeze (as HIV cannot survive in the air)
Say no to prejudice against people with AIDS and take a pledge to make the world a place for them on this World AIDS day. The purpose of this day will be fulfilled only with a widespread awareness. Educate your friends and families and become a part of change.