World AIDS Day is celebrated on the 1st of December every year to raise public awareness about AIDS.

 BACKGROUND

Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, is a pandemic disease caused by infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes damage to the immune system.

World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988. Since then, different organisations across the world bring attention to the HIV epidemic, endeavour to increase HIV awareness and knowledge.

According to World Health Organisation, “37.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2018, 79 percent received testing, 62 percent received treatment, and 53 percent had achieved suppression of the HIV virus with reduced risk of infecting others.”

Efforts in medical sciences has contributed to the development of treatments for HIV, and various formulas have been also taken to fight against discrimination and to safeguard HIV patients with proper treatments. Despite this progress, there are millions of HIV patients, who still do not have access to tests, treatments and medications for HIV. So it is important to observe the day which is intended to act as a reminder for all that HIV still exists and we need to fight together to end this the disease.

Every year, a theme is chosen to mark the event, for 2019, the theme is “Communities make the difference.

World AIDS Day gives the opportunity to fight against HIV. People who have been affected by HIV feel motivated and dare to fight against the fatal disease.

In support to create awareness, here are 7 Facts to Keep in Mind about HIV/AIDS

  • HIV test and counseling is free.
  • Testing and Counseling are available for free at government health facilities and a good number of private health facilities.
  • You Don’t have to Worry, even when the outcome of the test is “positive” because Antiretroviral Drugs are free and available at almost every government health facility and recognized private health facilities and free of charge..
  • Protect yourself and your love ones (in case if you want to make up please use condom).
  • Remember, when you expose yourself to the virus that courses HIV you are putting the life of those who love and care for you at risk.
  • Spread love not HIV.
  • HIV is not a death sentence. When on treatment one can still lead a normal lifestyle, so therefore get tested and know your status.
  • HIV cannot be passed on to another person through hugging, shaking hands or sharing food etc but can been transmitted through infected body fluid such as semen, blood.