World AIDS Day, 1 Dec was first declared by the World Health Organization and the United Nations General Assembly in 1988. Since then, it has progressively become one of the most successful ‘international days’ for raising awareness on a global issue. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who are infected with the HIV virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
The day is marked by activities to unite people in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. Each year this day is observed with a different theme that focuses on diverse but significant dimension of AIDS. For year 2015, the theme is, “The Time to Act Is Now,” which calls us to act with urgency to implement the latest high-impact, evidence-based HIV prevention strategies.
Where do we stand?
In spite of years of sincere efforts by global healthcare organizations to generate awareness about AIDS, each year thousands of people are diagnosed with HIV. The possible reason for high incidence of AIDS could be that the people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others and stigma and discrimination for people living with the condition. World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show support to and solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV.
World fights AIDS
As a science-based public health and disease prevention agency, centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) provides support that helps more than 60 countries including India strengthen their national HIV/AIDS programs and build sustainable public health systems. CDC conducts these activities through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Recent scientific breakthroughs now point the way to achieving an AIDS-free generation, a goal championed by President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address. CDC, through PEPFAR, is working to achieve that inspiring goal through proven science, smart investments, and shared responsibility with partner countries. Global efforts have resulted in approximately 13.5 million persons in low-income and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in 2014, an increase from 2013. Globally, more than 15 million people are on ART.
CDC’s core activities focus on:
- Providing proven combination prevention interventions, including prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, antiretroviral treatment, and voluntary medical male circumcision.
- Reaching orphans and vulnerable children, as well as other neglected and hard-to-reach populations.
- Building and enhancing health systems, including sustainable human resources for health (e.g., health care workers) and accurate, reliable laboratory systems.
India fights AIDS
Conducting outreach and communication campaigns through the Act against AIDS initiative, including the campaign Let’s Stop HIV Together, which fights stigma and seeks to ensure that all the people should know the facts about HIV.
- Let’s Stop HIV Together includes many personal stories about living with HIV.
- Providing training in HIV prevention and treatment.
- Pleased to join our partners to take unified action to prevent the spread of HIV.
- Providing funding and technical assistance for health departments.
- Conducting surveillance and behavioural research.
- Developing guidelines for HIV treatment, surveillance, and laboratory procedures.
- Evaluating programs.
As an active member of healthcare industry, each one of us should take it as our moral responsibility to assist the healthcare organizations, NGOs, and social activists of our region in spreading awareness about AIDS. Theme “The Time to Act is Now,” says that everyone in the world should actively participate in teaching and guiding about HIV/AIDS to other fellow members.
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