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World AIDS Day 2021

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    7th Dec, 2021

Context

World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year all over the world to spread awareness about the disease and remember all those who lost their lives to it.

About

About the Day

  • World AIDS Day aims to build new and effective policies and programmes to strengthen the systems of health and also to increase the capacity of health sectors towards HIV or AIDS.
  • Important objectives of the day are:
    • Guidance: To guide member states for increasing the prevention and control measures for HIV or AIDS globally.
    • Awareness: To make awareness among the people about antiretroviral medicines that can help them to fight against HIV infection.
    • Technical support: To offer technical support to the member states for implementing the plan for prevention, treatment for HIV or AIDS which will include testing, counseling, antiretroviral therapy, etc.
    • Encouragement: To encourage students from schools, colleges to contribute to the campaign organised for AIDS.
    • Prevention: To decrease the number of patients infected by HIV or AIDS.

Background

  • The history of World AIDS Day dates back to the year 1987.  
  • This day was conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS.
    • These officers worked for the World Health Organization in the Global Programme on AIDS.
  • James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter took their proposal for World AIDS Day to the director of the Global Programme on AIDS Jonathan Mann who liked the idea. Since then, he recommended the first World AIDS day to be commenced on December 1, 1988.
  • The United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, abbreviated to UNAIDS came into existence in 1996 and then World AIDS day was organized. 
    • Various themes were structured that were proposed as one of the major changes in organizing Worlds AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day Theme 

  • The theme for 2021 is "End inequalities. End AIDS”. 
  • The theme for 2020 was "Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact”

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks CD4, a type of White Blood Cell (T cells) in the body’s immune system.
    • T cells are those cells that move around the body detecting anomalies and infections in cells.
  • After entering the body, HIV multiplies itself and destroys CD4 cells, thus severely damaging the human immune system. 
    • Once this virus enters the body, it can never be removed.
  • The CD4 count of a person infected with HIV reduces significantly. In a healthy body, CD4 count is between 500- 1600, but in an infected body, it can go as low as 200.
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