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Every December 1, many people worldwide come together to spread awareness about AIDS, which is short for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome and is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS causes a weak immune system and is a pandemic disease. World AIDS Day is observed annually to support the people living with the disease and educating people.
HIV is transmitted by blood, semen, breast milk and causes symptoms like weakness, joint pain, muscle ache, fever, sore throat, and weight loss. The disease is asymptomatic until it progresses to AIDS. No cure exists at the time, but antiretroviral therapy (ART) can slow the disease progression and prevent secondary infections prolonging life.
World AIDS Day is a day for many to honor and reflect on the millions who lost their lives to the virus over the past four decades.
Many also take the day to reflect on the way they respond to the disease. World AIDS Day brings a positive awareness and helps the fight against discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS.
The United States Government 2020 theme for the day is Ending the HIV epidemic, resilience, and impact. It has saved more than 18 million lives through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
In more than 50 countries, they have moved the HIV/AIDS epidemic from a crisis to learning to control the infection’s spread.
World AIDS Day is to let the people living with the disease know that they are not alone.
Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
News d: World Aids Day 2020: History, theme, significance and myths about Aids
HIV Website: World AIDS Day 2020: Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Through Resilience and Impact; Angeli Achrekar, Ph.D., MPH, Principal Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State, and Harold J. Phillips
UNAIDS: World AIDS Day 2020 message from UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima
Features and Top Image Courtesy of U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Griffin Boyce’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License