December 1, 2013 World Aids Day
Each year, December 1 is commemorated as World AIDS Day. This day supports the 35.3 million people worldwide living with HIV and remembers the 36 million more who have died from the disease.
First held in 1988 to raise awareness for the disease, World Aids Day serves as a reminder to the public and governments that the fight isn’t over; there is still a need to increase education, raise awareness and reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS.
Established as the first ever, global health day, it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and show support for people living with the infection and honour those who have died.
2013 marks the 25th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Between 2011-2015, the global World AIDS Day theme is: "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths".
Help combat this global epidemic by knowing your HIV status.
Facts & Information
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (retrieved from http://www.who.int/entity/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/index.html):
- HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 36 million lives so far.
- There were approximately 35.3 [32.2–38.8] million people living with HIV in 2012.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV. Sixty nine per cent of all people living with HIV are living in this region.
- HIV infection is usually diagnosed through blood tests detecting the presence or absence of HIV antibodies.
- There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives.
- In 2012, more than 9.7 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low and middle-income countries.
- Much more needs to be done.
The following link provides the history of HIV/AIDS: http://www.catie.ca/en/world-aids-day#abriefhistory
Take the opportunity to become involved with your community in raising awareness for HIV/AIDS. To find a listing of events in Canada near you, please visit http://www.catie.ca/en/world-aids-day#canadianwadevents.