World AIDS Day 2022: History, significance, and theme

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New Delhi: Every year on 1 December, World AIDS Day is observed all across the world to raise awareness about the life-threatening disease. It serves as an opportunity for people to unite together in the battle against HIV which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The particular day aims to support individuals who are living with this virus and to remember those who lost their lives due to an AIDS-related illness.

History

World AIDS Day was first recognised in 1987. The purpose of celebrating this day is to facilitate the exchange of information among national and local governments, international organizations, and individuals about AIDS and HIV. It was formulated by two public information officers James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 1996, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) has been in charge of organizing and publicizing it. Then on November 30, 2017, President Donald Trump declared December 1 as World Aids Day.

Significance

About 38.4 million people lived with HIV at the end of 2021, two-thirds of whom (25.6 million) are in the WHO African Region with HIV. Each year in the UK over 4,139 people are diagnosed with HIV and stigma and discrimination are still a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is significant as it reminds the public and the government that it is a serious problem that requires urgent funding, awareness, the eradication of prejudice, and improved educational opportunities.

Theme

This year, ‘Equalize’ has been decided as the theme for World AIDS Day. It means everyone should work to eliminate the injustices that is impeding the fight to end AIDS, according to UNAIDS. The theme for this year is the latest in a long line of issues.

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