World AIDS Day (the first-ever global health day) is observed on December 1 each year. It was first observed on  December 1, 1988, to bring greater awareness at the time, to the global epidemic of AIDS and the spread of HIV.

World AIDS Day History

Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. The first World AIDS Day focused on the theme of children and youth to bring greater awareness to the impact of AIDS on families. From 1996, World AIDS Day operations were taken over by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). It expanded the scope of the project to a year-round prevention and education campaign. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2021 Date, History and Significance of the Day Raising Awareness About Impact of HIV on Women and Extend Support.

World AIDS Day Significance

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public that HIV is still very much prevalent and that there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education revolving around HIV/AIDS. World AIDS Day is also an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day.

World AIDS Day Theme

World AIDS Day themes over the years have mirrored the policy goals of public health authorities, moving from awareness and education to the larger objectives of the community and global cooperation.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2021 is “End inequalities. End AIDS”. The objective is to communicate the importance of equitable access to health services and the importance of strengthening actions at the primary health care level. The aim is to provide special emphasis on HIV prevention and treatment, as well as promote work with communities to reach the people who are most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

In the words of UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima “This year, the world agreed on a bold plan that, if leaders fulfil it, will end AIDS by 2030. That’s so exciting”. Following her lead, let’s do our bit to make an effort, to wear the red ribbon, to show compassion, to challenge our leaders to achieve these goals and to End inequalities, End AIDS, End pandemics.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 30, 2021 10:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website