World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1. This is a chance for people all over the world to come together in the battle against HIV, to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have passed away from an AIDS-related illness.
The theme for this year is “Equalize”. It is a call to action for all of us to pursue the tried-and-true methods required to redress disparities and aid in the eradication of AIDS.
The World Health Organization (WHO) founded World AIDS Day on December 1 in 1988 to promote information sharing between local and national authorities, international organisations, and private citizens. In 1988, when the inaugural World AIDS Day was observed, it was estimated that between 90,000 and 150,000 persons were HIV-positive, which leads to AIDS.
Within 20 years, more than 33 million individuals had contracted HIV, and since 1981, when the first instance of AIDS was documented, over 25 million people have passed away from the illness. As a result, AIDS awareness movements started to focus more on uniting and funding global organisations to educate societies about HIV/AIDS. The date of World AIDS Day in 2022 is Thursday, December 1st.
Up until 1996, WHO coordinated World AIDS Day, creating the annual themes and events. After that, UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, took over these duties. To raise AIDS awareness and integrate AIDS information on a worldwide scale, UNAIDS established the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) in 1997.
The WAC, which has offices in Cape Town, South Africa, and Amsterdam, Namibia, started operating independently in 2005. The WAC produces information that is disseminated for World AIDS Day in addition to assuring the support of authorities and AIDS groups.
Approximately 38 million individuals globally carry the HIV virus. Among the most devastating pandemics in history, despite the virus only being discovered in 1984, has claimed the lives of almost 35 million people.
Today, HIV treatment has seen scientific advancements, and legislation protecting those living with HIV is in place. Many people who live with the disease still experience stigma and discrimination since the public is unaware of the realities regarding how to protect oneself and others.
World AIDS Day is significant because it serves as a reminder to the public and the government that HIV is still a serious problem that requires urgent funding, more awareness, the eradication of prejudice, and improved educational opportunities.