Wolrd AIDS day is celebrated on 1 December every year to remember those lost to the virus, to bring together communities fighting the disease, and to end stigma against those living with HIV. It is also an opportunity for both public and private organisations to come together and spread awareness about the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease.
Let's learn more about the history, significance and theme for World AIDS Day, 2021.
World AIDS Day: History
In August, 1987 two public information officers named James W Bunn and Thomas Netter conceived of this day for celebration of a global programme on AIDS.
These two officers took the proposal of setting up World AIDS day to then director of Global AIDS program, Jonathan Mann who liked the idea and hence commenced the yearly celebrations starting from 1 December, 1988.
Then in the year 1996, UNAIDS, United Nations Programme on AIDS came into existence. Ever since that day, various themes have been structured to celebrate the day.
World AIDS Day: Significance
World AIDS Day is celebrated every year in order step up and push governments to implement more effective programmes and policies to fight the disease. There are various objectives that the World Health Organisation sets on this day:
It promotes the control and prevention of the disease in its member states.
To raise awareness about antiretroviral (ART) medicines that help fight against the HIV virus.
To help member states with the diagnosis and treatment procedures like testing, antiretroviral therapy, etc.
To encourage children and students to participate in the campaigns organised to raise awareness against AIDS.
To bring down the number of people affected by the HIV virus.
World AIDS Day: Theme
According to WHO, the theme for world AIDS day 2021 is 'End Inequalities, end AIDS." In spite of regular efforts, global targets for AIDS programme have not been fully met.
COVID-19 has become a contributing factor to the rising issues of disparities and unavailability of medical services for those living with HIV/AIDS.