Anirbaan Hritiq

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has coined the term “equalize” as a theme for this year's celebration. It aims to provide equivalent access to all HIV-related information and facilities to all people belonging to all genders.

AIDS which stands as an abbreviation for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is a life-claiming disease caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Every year it claims and infects millions of lives worldwide.

As per National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) record, 41968 people lost their lives due to AIDs in the year 2021.

Also Read: HIV progress for children, adolescents, and pregnant women nearly flat- UNICEF

Odisha’s Struggle With AIDS

In 2021, the total number of AIDS-related deaths in Odisha stood at 1,627.

As per Odisha State AIDS Control Society, out of 18, 33,553 HIV tests, only 2,253 cases turned out to be positive.

Ganjam district maintained the top position in terms of HIV-positive cases in 2019, at 15,739 cases.

Though, recent figures suggest there is a steady drop in the number of AIDS cases in the state, the reason for acquiring the disease remains the same i.e. unprotected sexual activities.

More than 80% of HIV-positive cases detected over the last five years are related to men which they are said to have acquired through having intimate relationships with multiple female partners. While the percentage of women remains under 15% who acquire the disease from their partners.

Interstate migration has also contributed to the growing cases in the state. Districts with a higher number HIV positive individuals are those from which people go to other states as daily wage earners or labourers.

A Brief History Of World AIDS Day

World AIDs Day is celebrated since 1988 and is one of the 11 notified Global Public Health Campaigns by the World Health Organisation.

In August 1987, the day was first proposed by two public information officers named James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter who worked for the Global Programme on AIDS at WHO in Geneva. The day came into existence after it was approved by Dr Jonathan Mann, then Director of the Global Programme on AIDS.

The day became more popular after the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) became operational in 1996.

HIV Prevention And Eradication

With 25.7 million people living with HIV worldwide, it has become extremely important to address the harm caused by this dreadful disease.

Though complete eradication of the disease will take a reasonably long time, HIV infections can be easily prevented by taking measures such as having protected sex, not sharing needles, and following safe intimacy practices, among others.

In case you have HIV, you can always opt for medications to control the viral load in the blood which helps in reducing transmission of the virus from the mother to child. People can keep the virus rate under control via proper medication.

Meanwhile, sex education and systematic campaigns spreading awareness against HIV can be helpful in significantly reducing the impact worldwide.

Also Read: Goal to end AIDS by 2030 'badly off track': UNGA President