December 1 marks Worlds AIDS Day, which was the first global health day in 1988 and have been prevalent ever since. Observance of the day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV.
Many organizations and individuals choose to organise an event on or around World AIDS Day to raise awareness of HIV and also remember loved ones who have died. Globally, the day is identified symbolically with the red ribbon to show solidarity with people living with HIV, to celebrate survival and health, and to raise money for HIV and related causes.
Every year there is a theme for World AIDS Day. This year’s theme is ‘Hands Up for #HIV Prevention’ which “aims to emphasize the different aspects of HIV prevention and what it means for specific groups of people”.
According to statistics from The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 9,600 people living with HIV in Bangladesh in 2015, with around 1100 new infections compared to the year prior.
Globally, 36.7 million people are living with HIV. Since the start of the epidemic in 1984, 78 million people have become infected, out of which, 35 million has died from AIDS-related illness. Around 46% of people living with the virus have access to treatment. In 2015, 2.1 million people became newly infected with HIV. In that same year, 1.1 million died from the disease. That was down from 2005, when 2 million people died.
UNAIDS leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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