Plenty of celebrations and commemorations are held every year. However, not all of them are about fun and games. Others need to be remembered annually because they help give awareness to situations that are encompassing the overall wellbeing of many individuals.
If you want to erase the stigma and be educated about AIDS, keep reading. Please know that this guide was only created for educational purposes. My Transgender Date doesn’t claim direct affiliation with the organizations that will be mentioned. This was created to inform regular individuals who are curious about what AIDS is and the importance of the World AIDS Day.
What is World AIDS Day?
The World AIDS Day’s goal is to help people unite in the fight against HIV. It also encourages people to show their support for people who have HIV and to commemorate the lives of the people who got theirs taken by HIV-related illnesses.
Every year, it has different themes. For 2020, the theme of World AIDS day is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact” (“Erradicar la epidemia del VIH/SIDA: Resiliencia e Impacto”).
The World AIDS Day officially started in 1988. It’s also the first-ever global health day. The idea of the event was first conceived by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter in August 1987. Both are public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization.
However, the day was met with criticisms in its grassroots stages. In the first two years, it focused on how HIV affected children and youth. However, some people were unhappy about it because they felt like the day wasn’t inclusive of the infected people of other age brackets.
AIDS in Numbers
AIDS has been living with people for decades. However, in 2020, some people still stigmatize it and call it a dirty disease. This is why it’s very important for one to know the genuine facts of what AIDS truly is and how it’s affecting people from all walks of life.
Definition of AIDS
AIDS or HIV/AIDS stand for Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It’s a range of conditions that are caused by HIV. It’s spread:
- primarily by unprotected s*x (including an*l and oral s*x)
- hypodermic needles
- contaminated blood transfusions
- during pregnancy (from mother to child)
What it’s known for mainly is how it greatly interferes with an individual’s immune system. AIDS can increase the risk of a person developing common infections such as tuberculosis and other infections.
Total AIDS Infections as of 2020
According to the UNAIDS website:
- 38 million people are living with HIV
- 25.4 million of those have access to antiretroviral therapy
- 1.7 million of those were newly infected in 2019
Sadly, 690,000 lives were taken away by AIDS-related illnesses in the same year.
AIDS has been taking the lives of individuals for decades. However, the numbers when it comes to mortality are positively diminishing. The death count for AIDS peaked in 2004, which accounted for around 1.7 million. A huge number when compared with last year’s 690,000, which totals to around a 60 percent reduction.
Countries Badly Affected by AIDS
The reason why this section was included is to not scare people away from visiting these places. This was created in order to spread awareness and encourage the readers to send help where it’s most needed.
According to Avert.org’s chart:
- 19.6 million in the East and Southern Africa regions are living with HIV in 2017.
- 6.1 million people are infected in Western and Central Africa
- 5.2 million are infected in Asia and the Pacific.
The vast majority of individuals who have HIV are in low and middle-income countries that are in most need of medical assistance and education about AIDS.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and India are some of the badly infected ones just to name a few.
World AIDS Day Commemoration
AIDS is not a dirty disease like how other people make it out to be. It’s an epidemic that can affect all of us. People around the world should help put a stop to it and fight it instead of judging the people who are living with it.
The World AIDS Day is celebrated every first of December. It’s a day when people should spread the message of hope and bravery. It’s a day to encourage people to keep on living and surviving through the deadly infection.
Who are Involved?
Many corporations and institutions are involved in the World AIDS Day. Apart from the World Health Organizations, some companies such as MAC (The makeup brand), Morrisons, BioSURE, Miss Universe Organization, Miss International Queen, LoveYourself, Berani Berencana, and more are all helping in commemorating this day.
Celebrities have also shared their support for the World AIDS Day. They are entertainment icons such as Madonna, Freddie Mercury, George Takei, Magic Johnson, and Charlize Theron, just to name a few.
How to be a part of World AIDS Day
The most impactful way to help people with HIV is by sending monetary donations to Non-Government Organizations such as:
- The Global Fund
- International AIDS Society
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- the World Health Organization
These organizations are focused on helping give people with HIV free medication to battle the disease. People with HIV can live freely and normally if medication to help strengthen their immune systems is readily available to them.
However, there are other ways to help if you are not in a position to donate financially. This year, you can use the hashtags #WorldAIDSDay #WAD2020 #StopHIVTogether #EndHIVEpidemic and #HIV on your post’s captions on December 1.
You can also share links on your timelines to encourage your friends to donate. You may also share infographics on your timeline on how to help people with HIV or to educate your friends and family about what HIV/AIDS truly is.
Lastly, you can also share this article on your timeline for others to have an overall understanding of what the World AIDS Day, and everything that’s encompassing it are all about.