World AIDS Day has been celebrated on 1st December of every year since 1988 as an international day to spread awareness of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and support those who are suffering from AIDS. First World AIDS day was celebrated on 1st December 1988 with “Communication” as the theme. The World Health Organization declared this year’s World AIDS Day 2023 theme as ‘ let Communities Lead’. The United Nations body decided this theme to mark the role of the communities to fight against HIV infection and to remember those who lost their lives due to AIDS.
The World can end AIDS with the help of communities as the leader. Organizations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with public health care and build trust and monitor and implement the policies to avoid spread of infection.
This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the achievements of communities; it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles. World AIDS Day 2023 will highlight that to unleash the full potential of community leadership to enable the end of AIDS:
- Communities’ leadership roles need to be made core in all HIV plans and programmes and in their formulation, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. “Nothing about us without us.”
- Communities’ leadership roles need to be fully and reliably funded to enable the required scale up,and be properly supported and remunerated. “Not ending AIDS is more expensive than ending it.”
- Barriers to communities’ leadership roles need to be removed. An enabling regulatory environment is needed which facilitates communities’ role in provision of HIV services, ensures civil society space, and protects the human rights of all, including of marginalised communities, to advance the global HIV response. “Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower.”
Ever year UNESCO stands along with UNAIDS , co-sponsers stand together on 1st December to celebrate World AIDS Day.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes infection that attacks body immune system and Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is advanced stage of infection.
HIV spreads from person to person through body fluids like blood, breast milk, semen, vaginal fluids. It does not spread by hugs, kisses or sharing food.
HIV is treated by anti-retroviral therapy. and Untreated HIV infections progress to AIDS after few years.
Risk Factors of AIDS
People having following risk factors can lead to HIV infection.
- Sharing of contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting drug solutions.
- Receiving unsafe injections, unsafe blood transfusion.
- Having another sexually transmitted diseases like Syphilis, Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea.
- Having condomless vaginal or anal sex.
- Accidental needle stick injuries among health workers.
Prevention is Better than Cure.
There are many actions one can take to prevent the spread of HIV infection in a community.
- Safe Intercourse
- Get tested and treated for Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Avoid unhygienic practices such as sharing needles.
- Get tested for HIV.
- Single Sexual Partner
- Use HIV prevention medicines for pre and post exposure prophylaxis.
The UN secretary General has given a general message for World AIDS Day 2023. He said AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 70 percent from the peak of 2004 and new infections are at their lowest level since 1980. We can and we must end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. AIDS is beatable so let’s finish the job by supporting the communities to end this scourge in their neighborhoods, their countries and around the world.
All together with the help of communities we can fight against AIDS and spread awareness and combat the infection from the community for the community.