World Aids Day - 1 December

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education on Aids. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS.1 Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.2

The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries.

But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS.1 Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.2

The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

World AIDS Day theme : Universal Access and Human Rights

The theme for World AIDS Day 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care, recognising these as fundamental human rights. Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services, yet greater commitment is needed around the world if the goal of universal access is to be achieved. Millions of people continue to be infected with HIV every year. In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, and too many do not have access to adequate care services.

The protection of human rights is fundamental to combating the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Violations against human rights fuel the spread of HIV, putting marginalised groups, such as injecting drug users and sex workers, at a higher risk of HIV infection. By promoting individual human rights, new infections can be prevented and people who have HIV can live free from discrimination.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all of us - individuals, communities and political leaders - to take action and ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care are met.

The history of AIDS is a short one. As recently as the 1970s, no one was aware of this deadly illness. Since then the global AIDS epidemic has become one of the greatest threats to human health and development. At the same time, much has been learnt about the science of AIDS, as well as how to prevent and treat the disease.

What can be done to combat the AIDS epidemic?

There is much that can be done to reduce the impact of AIDS, beginning with the prevention of HIV transmission. Averting sexual transmission involves encouraging safer sexual behaviour including delayed first sex, partner reduction and condom use. The spread of HIV through injecting drug use can be slowed by outreach work, needle exchange and drug substitution treatment. And mother-to-child transmission can be almost eliminated through use of medicines and avoidance of breastfeeding.

There is still no cure for AIDS, but treatment for people with HIV has improved enormously since the mid-1990s. Those who take a combination of three antiretroviral drugs can expect to recover their health and live for many years without developing AIDS, as long as they keep taking the drugs every day.

Challenges

Apart from inadequate funding, major obstacles in tackling the global AIDS epidemic include weak infrastructure and shortages of health workers in the worst affected countries. Political or cultural attitudes are also significant: for example some authorities are opposed to condom promotion, while others refuse to support needle exchanges for injecting drug users. Many are reluctant to provide young people with adequate education about sex and sexual health.

Another very serious issue is stigma and discrimination. People known to be living with HIV are often shunned or abused by community members, employers and even health workers. As well as causing much personal suffering, this sort of prejudice discourages people from seeking HIV testing, treatment and care.

The future

Based on recent trends it is likely that AIDS around the world will keep getting worse for many years to come. Millions more will become infected with HIV and millions will die of AIDS. The only way to turn things around is to rapidly scale up the measures we already know are effective, but which are currently reaching far too few of those in need.

In 2005 the world's leaders pledged to try to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care worldwide by 2010. This would be one of the greatest health achievements in history – saving millions of lives and giving new hope to suffering nations. But meeting this challenge will take bold leadership and a massive increase in effort; otherwise the promise is sure to be broken.

How is HIV/AIDS transmitted :


1. Unprotected sex with an HIV/AIDS infected person

2. From an HIV/AIDS infected mother to her unborn child.

3. Use of infected needles & syringes &

4. Transfusion of infected blood.


How can we prevent HIV/ AIDS?

1. Abstinenc : to restrain oneself of any sexual activity

2. Be faithful : to avoid multiple partner and be faithful with one partner.

Myths & Facts about HIV/AIDS :

1. I can get HIV by being around people who are HIV positive. NO.Evidence shows that HIV is not transmitted through touch,tears,sweat or saliva.

2. I can get HIV from mosquitoes. NO. When insects bite, they do not inject the blood of the person or animal they have last bitten.

3. I'm HIV positive & therefore my life is over. NO. In the early years of epidemic, the death rate from AIDS was extremely high.But today, antiretroviral drugs allow HIV positive people suffering from AIDS to live much longer & healthier life.In fact, from 2000 to 2004, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS has increased by 30%

4. People with HIV/AIDS look sick NO. You cannot tell who has HIV by their physical looks. Any healthy looking person may be infected by HIV.

5. AIDS is a gay disease. NO. AIDS does not discriminate between homosexuals & heterosexuals, young or old, male or female. The truth is that anybody who engages in unsafe sex, increases their risk of getting AIDS.Being heterosexuals does not protect you from HIV/AIDS.

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World Aids Day - 1 December World Aids Day - 1 December Reviewed by Salil Chaudhary on 22:58 Rating: 5

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