Monday, 1 December 2014

World AIDS Day: “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”

By Ritu Singh

 December 1 marks World AIDS Day, an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the battle against HIV, one of the most destructive pandemics in history. People worldwide show support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.

World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. Since then, numerous events and campaigns have been organised around the world to spread awareness about this disease.

This year, the theme for World AIDS Day is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”

Importance of this day:

This day is important because an estimated 34 million persons are living with HIV infection and more than 35 million have died from the disease. World AIDS Day is meant to draw attention to the current status of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome epidemic worldwide.

The current situation is not completely grim though.A leading campaign group fighting HIV has observed that the world is finally reaching the "the beginning of the end" of the AIDS pandemic. A lot still needs to be done.

And more than anything our mindset needs to be changed. In this age of education, it is important to keep our knowledge on HIV up to date and bust common myths and misconceptions.

Despite all efforts, AIDS continues to be a word that generates more anxiety than awareness. Stigma and discrimination against those suffering from the disease remains a harsh reality. Even now, the average person still fears touching or kissing someone with HIV, even though we have been taught for years that neither of these activities can infect someone else. HIV is infectious, not contagious.

So, on this World AIDS day, let’s all take a pledge to actualize more empathy within us and pray for an AIDS free world!

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