World AIDS Vaccine Day or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed globally every year on May 18. The Concept of HIV vaccine awareness day came out of a speech delivered by the former US President Bill Clinton in 1997, where he stressed upon the necessity of the vaccine to contain and eradicate the fatal disease.
World AIDS Vaccine Day 2022 Theme
The theme for World AIDS Vaccine Day 2022 has not been announced yet. The day is celebrated with a different theme each year. World AIDS Vaccine Day theme last year was ‘Global solidarity, shared responsibility.’
World AIDS Vaccine Day History
The effort to develop a vaccine against HIV started 35 years ago. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has opened the first clinical trial in 1987 but still we have not been able to find a breakthrough. Meanwhile the successful launch of covid vaccines in record time, the scientists are very keen on on mRNA platform technology. In March 2022, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, launched a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating three experimental HIV vaccines based on a messenger RNA (mRNA) platform.
Deaths due to AIDS in India and World
As per UNAIDS data, since 2004, AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 64%. In 2020, around 6,80,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses globally, which was significantly down from a peak of 1.9 Million in 2004.
Similar trends appear in India as well. As per NACO data, in 2020 HIV claimed 51,000 deaths in India, which is almost 80 % down from peak 2.5 lakh deaths in 2005.
HIV and COVID
Studies from England and South Africa have revealed that HIV affected people have double the risk of dying from COVID-19 in comparison to the rest of the population.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two thirds (67%) HIV infected people. But they are not able to source enough COVID-19 vaccines to protect themselves. As reported latest by ourworldindata.org only 17 % people have been fully vaccinated.
Andhra Pradesh tops in AIDS related death
Official data reports that in 2020, Andhra Pradesh (7070) has highest number of AIDS related death, followed by Maharashtra (4037) and Karnataka (4060), Uttar Pradesh (2000), Bihar (1077) and Telangana (1.52 thousand). In addition, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh were other States with an estimated ARD (AIDS related death) higher than 1000 in 2020.
Maharashtra has the highest PLHIV
As per NACO data, in 2020 the figure of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in India was estimated at 23.19 lakh. Maharashtra has the highest number of PLHIV (3.90 lakh), followed by Andhra Pradesh (3.03 lakh), Karnataka (2.55 lakh). In addition to that Uttar Pradesh (1.61 lakh), Telangana, Tamil Nadu (1.58 lakh each), Bihar (1.30 lakh) and Gujarat (1.04 lakh) were the other States which had an estimate of more than one lakh PLHIV.