Sunday, December 2, 2018

World AIDS Day 2018: Theme, awareness slogans, history, key facts

Today, that is December 1 2018, World Health Organisation (WHO) joins global partners and citizens to commemorate AIDS Day under the theme 'Know Your Status'.
This is also an occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day -- a pioneering global health campaign first initiated by WHO in 1988.

2 objectives of the theme of AIDS Day 2018

It is estimated that currently only 75 per cent of people with HIV know their status.
WHO advocacy and communication for World AIDS Day 2018 with the theme 'Know Your Status' aims to achieve the following objectives:
  • Urge people to know their HIV infection status through testing, and to access HIV prevention, treatment and care services
  • Urge policy-makers to promote a 'health for all' agenda for HIV and related health services, such as tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis and non-communicable diseases

7 SLOGANS ON AIDS DAY

1
"HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug: Heaven knows they need it" -Princess Diana
2
One in four people with HIV don't know they have it; know your risks= know your status
3
Prevention is better than cure; especially when something has no cure
4
The risk is not knowing; stop AIDS
5
Safe sex or no sex; it's your life that's at stake
6
Hate the disease, but not the diseased!
7
Are few minutes of unprotected thrills, worth a lifetime of pills?

History of World AIDS Day: A timeline

At the beginning of the 1980s, before HIV had been identified as the cause of AIDS, the infection was thought to only affect specific groups, such as gay men in developed countries and people who inject drugs.
The HIV virus was first isolated by Dr Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Dr Luc Montagnier in 1983 at the Institut Pasteur.
In November that year, WHO held the first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation and initiated international surveillance.
With increasing awareness that AIDS was emerging as a global public health threat, the first International AIDS Conference was held in Atlanta in 1985.

In 1988, two WHO communications officers, Thomas Netter and James Bunn, put forward the idea of holding an annual World AIDS Day, with the aim of increasing HIV awareness, mobilising communities and advocating for action worldwide.
It wasn't until 1991 that the HIV movement was branded with the iconic red ribbon. This was the very first disease-awareness ribbon, a concept that would later be adopted by many other health causes.
Clinical trials of antiretrovirals (ARVs) began in 1985 -- the same year that the first HIV test was approved -- and the first ARV was approved for use in 1987.
By 1995, ARVs were being prescribed in various combinations.
Generic manufacturing of ARVs would only start in 2001 providing bulk, low-cost access to ARVs for highly affected countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where by 2000, HIV had become the leading cause of death.

7 key facts on HIV/AIDS

1. HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far.
2. In 2017, 9,40,000 people died from HIV-related causes globally.
3. There were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2017 with 1.8 million people becoming newly-infected in 2017 globally.
4. The WHO African Region is the most affected region, with 25.7 million people living with HIV in 2017.
5. The African region also accounts for over two thirds of the global total of new HIV infections.
6. Key populations often have legal and social issues related to their behaviours that increase vulnerability to HIV and reduce access to testing and treatment programmes.
7. Between 2000 and 2017, new HIV infections fell by 36 per cent, and HIV-related deaths fell by 38 per cent with 11.4 million lives saved due to ART in the same period.

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