World AIDS Day is celebrated every year on 1st December all over the world . It is celebrated to spread awareness about AIDS and in memory of those who lost their lives due to it.

 

Background

  • World AIDS Day was first observed on December 1, 1988. The day was first celebrated in 1987 by two public information officers for the Global Program on AIDS, James W. Bunn and was proposed by Thomas Neter.
  • In the first two years of the campaign, World AIDS Day focused on the theme of children and youth to highlight the impact of AIDS on families.
  • In 1996, UNAIDS took over the operations of World AIDS Day and expanded the scope of the initiative to a year-long prevention and education campaign.
  • The theme of World AIDS Day to be celebrated on December 1, 2022 by the World Health Organization has been kept “Equalise ” which means equality .

 

What is HIV?

  • Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is an infection that attacks the immune system by destroying the bodys immune cells called CD4, which help it respond to infection.
  • Once HIV attacks the CD4 cells, it starts replicating and destroying the cells, weakening the body’s immune system and making it more prone to certain “opportunistic infections” that take advantage of the weak immune system.
  • Bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids and breastmilk can be carriers for HIV. It can be transmitted through unprotected sex, transfusion of contaminated blood, sharing needles and syringes, and from a mother with HIV to her infant during pregnancy.
  • Typically, the time between HIV transmission and AIDS diagnosis is 10-15 years, although it may occur sooner.