No epidemic has been fought blatantly by the mankind more than AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which is a spectrum of hazardous health conditions caused by infliction of Human Immunodeficiency Virus or the HIV. According to UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), there were around 36.7 million people the world over who were fighting with HIV/AIDS by the end of year 2015. In India alone, the number of HIV-inflicts has been estimated at 1.6 million.
AIDS results in a person’s immune system going too weak to fight off many infections. It develops when the HIV infection becomes acute. In the last stage of HIV infection, the inflicted body is unable to defend itself and generally develops various diseases, infections and if left untreated, dies. At present, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS. However, with the right treatment and support, people with HIV are able to survive and live long and healthy lives.
AIDS presented such a horrendous effect since early eighties that the World Health Organization (WHO) designated a day to mark a global public health campaign to combat it on a war-footing. Every year since 1988, the 1st December is being observed as the World AIDS Day through which an awareness drive is being carried out globally to educate the masses.
Every year, the World AIDS Day has a meaningful theme that becomes the lodestar in the mission to touch pertinent issues related to HIV/AIDS. This year’s theme is “Hands up for #HIVprevention”.
Hands up campaign
The brochure released by UNAIDS to observe this year’s World AIDS Day has specified comprehensively the major reference points. “The hands up for #HIVprevention” campaign is going on since September this year and will lead up to 1st December, 2016. This campaign explores different aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women, key populations and people infected with HIV. The campaign also offers people a platform to present their views regarding what they feel needs to be done to bolster HIV prevention efforts.
To mark this year’s World AIDS Day, the UNAIDS has been asking people around the world to submit a photograph of a word or short phrase written on the palm of their hand summarizing what is required to strengthen HIV prevention efforts, for example more condoms, empowerment, inclusion, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), rights for women and girls. Alternately, one can also send a short video message (maximum 30 seconds) explaining what in their view needs to be done to bring down new HIV infections in their community.