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World AIDS Day - an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in fight against HIV

World AIDS Day - an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in fight against HIV

Kolkata, Nov 26 (UNI) World AIDS Day is observed every year on December One, and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), show their support for people living with HIV and remember those who have died.

Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

The World Health Organization (WHO) will join global partners to commemorate World AIDS Day under the theme “Know your status”.

This will also be an occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day (WAD30) – a pioneering global health campaign first initiated by WHO in 1988.

WHO Regional Offices will create additional regionspecific messages and materials under the global theme.

WHO advocacy and communication for World AIDS Day 2018 will aim to achieve the objectives that includes: urge people to know their HIV infection status through testing, and to access HIV prevention, treatment and care services; and urge policy-makers to promote a “health for all” agenda for HIV and related health services, such as tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis and noncommunicable diseases.

HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far. In 2017, 940 000 people died from HIV-related causes globally.

There were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2017 with 1.8 million people becoming newly infected in 2017 globally.

Fifteen nine per cent of adults and 52 per cent of children living with HIV were receiving lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2017.

Global ART coverage for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV is high at 80 per cent.

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