Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

Today (December 1st ) is World’s Aids Day.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the first World AIDS Day in 1988.

The Day, 1 December, quickly became established as one of the world's most successful commemorative days and is now recognised and observed every year around the world. Over 190 countries around the globe participate in World AIDS Day each year.

The aim of World AIDS Day is to raise awareness in the community about HIV/AIDS issues, including the need for support and understanding for people living with HIV/AIDS, and the development of education and prevention initiatives.

The red ribbon is the international symbol of HIV and AIDS awareness and was conceived over 13 years ago by a group of artists in New York called "Visual AIDS". The Ribbon was chosen to represent support for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

The artists sought to create an image which would be simple yet bold and able to make an impact wherever it was seen. Red was chosen to symbolise blood and danger. The tails of the ribbon pointing down was chosen to symbolise life flowing away.

All monies raised through the sale of red ribbons during AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day go towards support services for people living with HIV/AIDS including medical services, counselling services, support and peer education groups.

The theme for 2006 is ‘accountability’. And the slogan is ‘Stop AIDS. Keep the promise’.

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organizations to the global AIDS response.

Cosponsors include UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Based in Geneva, the UNAIDS secretariat works on the ground in more than 75 countries world wide.

Learn more about UNAIDS here.

In 2000, heads of state made a promise to halt and begin to reverse the spread of AIDS by 2015.

New reports by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that, as of 2006, the epidemic continues to spread in every region of the world. By now more than 65 million people have been infected with HIV and well over 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981, 2.9 million in 2006 alone. At this rate, the WHO predicts that in the next 25 years another 117 million people will die, making AIDS the third leading cause of death worldwide.

Read more about the world’s aids campaign here.

And do you know that we, India have the dubious distinction of having the largest number of AIDS population? We have about 5.7 mln people infected with AIDS.

How does the AIDS virus infect a person?

The virus enters a healthy cell by misleading the gatekeepers with a protein attached to it and then multiplies by adding its genetic material to the host.

What are the things that put us, Indians, more at risk for AIDS?

  1. Our poor system of primary health care
  2. Low literacy level
  3. Huge gender inequality
  4. Hypocritical society that shies away at open advocacy of easy preventives like condoms

It is said that there are three waves in which the epidemic comes; they are:

  1. HIV infection
  2. This is followed by a wave of opportunistic diseases several years later; and
  3. A wave of AIDS illness and then death.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

very informative article sir.. sometimes wilful ignorance adds a lot to our problems..

aarti shrivastava