World Aids Day

Topics: HIV, AIDS, HIV/AIDS Pages: 3 (775 words) Published: August 27, 2013
World Aids day

Since 1988, the World AIDS Day is held on December 1 every year. It is an international day to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS around the world. On this day, besides raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, memorials are held to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

Since 1981, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people. At present an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS) at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The date of December 1 was suggested to ensure coverage by western news media, something vital for its success. Since 1988 was an election year in the U.S., it was assumed that media outlets would be weary of their post-election coverage and eager to find a fresh story to cover. It was felt that December 1 was long enough after the election and soon enough before the Christmas holidays and thus perfect timing for World AIDS Day.

The World AIDS Day is now arguably the longest-running disease awareness and prevention initiative of its kind in the history of public health. The planning and promotion of World AIDS day was taken over by the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which became operational in 1996....
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