With another virus taking the world by storm, it is easy to forget the menace of other viruses like HIV and its partner disease, AIDS. Since 1988, the first day of December has been set aside as World AIDS Day to sensitize the public about the disease and reduce the possible spread and provide avenues for treatment.
The theme for the 2020 observance is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact.” In a statement commemorating World AIDS Day, The Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Winnie Byanyinma, reported that over 12 million infected persons are waiting to access HIV treatment while 1.7 million people became infected with HIV in 2019 because they could not access essential services. This is a massive number but not an indicator of the progress made in protecting individuals living with the disease.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, AIDS is a life-threatening condition caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV works by attacking the infected person’s immune system, therefore reducing their resistance to other diseases.
A 2017 statistic shows that AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, and an estimated 36.7 million people live with HIV. One of World AIDS Day objectives is to educate people on the prevention and control of AIDS and reduce stigmatization against people living with AIDS.
Winnie Byanyinma also used the opportunity to advocate for easy access to Coronavirus vaccines, especially in developing countries. For her, accessibility to treatment and vaccines for COVID-19 will ensure that what happened in the early days of the AIDS pandemic does not repeat itself.
At Style Rave, we stand committed to supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS as we continue to help create awareness, especially on World AIDS Day 2020.
For more information, visit worldaidsday.org.
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A life, style and culture writer with a borderline obsession for 80s fashion, though I made landfall a decade later. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥