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World AIDS Day 2023: History, date, theme, preventive measures and more

The world celebrates World AIDS Day every year on December 1. This year, the theme for World AIDS Day is 'Let communities lead'


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Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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Every year, the world celebrates World Aids Day on December 1 to educate people and spread awareness about AIDS and how to prevent this incurable and lethal disease. The day is an opportunity to end stigmas associated with this disease, and this day also honours people who lost their precious lives and engage in lives that support HIV/AIDS research and advanced treatment.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which damages the immune system of the body so it cannot fight certain infections and cancers.

According to a WHO report, every day, around 1700 people lose their lives due to HIV-related causes and around 3500 get infected with it. The report further stated that around 9.2 million people do not have access to the treatment they need. 

World Aids Day 2023: History and Significance

World Aids Day was first observed in 1988 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised the day. This day aims to create awareness and address the challenges that arise due to HIV/AIDS. There have been massive developments and advancements in the direction of research in HIV/AIDS which plays a critical role in the management of the disease. 

This is the 35th time the world is observing World AIDS Day and it primarily focuses on combating disease and facing the challenges. The day also addresses the critical role of communities in dealing with the disease and recognising remaining challenges. There is a significance of celebrating World AIDS Day as the day also promotes equitable access to healthcare services, especially in underdeveloped countries to control and prevent the progression of HIV/AIDS.

What is the date of 'World AIDS Day'?

World AIDS Day is celebrated every year on December 1. This year, the day will be observed on the same day, i.e., December 1, 2023.

What is the theme of World AIDS Day 2023?

The theme for World AIDS Day 2023 is  ‘Let communities lead.’ The official website WHO mentions that this year's theme is more than just a celebration of the achievements of communities; it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles. 

What are the preventive measures for the risk of AIDS?

The three points solutions are being proposed by UNAIDS to empower communities leading the fight against AIDS. The measures to tackle AIDS are granting leadership roles to communities, ensuring adequate funding, and establishing a regulatory environment conducive to facilitating communities' active involvement in health services for AIDS patients.  

The UNAIDS underscores the importance of collective efforts and the need to support and prioritise the communities to achieve the goal. The UN report tries to share the message of active hope and acknowledge the fact that the world is not on a trajectory to eliminate AIDS as a public health threat. However, it has the potential to redirect its courses and make progress.

The report further mentions that detrimental laws and policies targeted at individuals at risk of HIV, such as men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgender people, sex workers, and people who use drugs, pose a threat to communities working in the direction to offer them HIV services.

Shortage of drugs in India

India is currently facing a severe problem of testing kits and drug shortages at intervals in various states.

The Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP) and National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India (NCPI) protested due to pan-India drug shortages, with some places facing a total drug stockout. 

The protests weren't there only to meet the demand for medicines but dignity and Universal Health Coverage demand as well.

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First Published: Dec 01 2023 | 10:22 AM IST

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