HIV/AIDS has had a large impact on the human society both because of its incurable nature and the extensive social discrimination faced by its victims. There are many misconceptions about this disease such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. To raise more awareness about HIV, May 18 is observed as AIDS Vaccine Day that advocates for promoting the urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. On this occasion, let’s look at some facts about World AIDS Vaccine Day.
- AIDS is the most advanced stage of infection caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
- The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on May 18, 1998 to commemorate the anniversary of the then American President Bill Clinton’s speech on HIV and AIDS.
- AIDS was first reported in the United States in 1981.
- On May 18, 1997, former American President Bill Clinton during a speech at Morgan State University, called for scientists to work towards creating a vaccine for AIDS.
- Every year, communities around the world organise several activities on this day, includes educating communities about HIV prevention and research on AIDS vaccine.
- A person suffering from HIV infection is said to have AIDS when the immune system becomes so weak that it can’t fight with other kind of infections.
- HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease by damaging your immune system.
- Once HIV invades your body, it can’t be removed. The antiretroviral therapy (ART) can prevent or reverse the damage to your immune system.
- The HIV epidemic in India is driven by sexual transmission, which accounted for 86 percent of new infections in 2017/2018
- India’s epidemic is concentrated among key affected populations including sex workers and men who have sex with men.
- The three states with the highest HIV prevalence in India are Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.
- The National AIDS Control Programme, has made particular efforts to reach out to these two high-risk groups with HIV interventions.
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