ISLAMABAD: The United Nations’ (UN) World AIDS Day will be observed on December 1 across the world to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.
The 2013 theme for World AIDS Day is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.”
World closing in on Millennium Development Goal 6, globally the AIDS epidemic has been halted and reversed-race is on to reach universal access to HIV treatment.
New HIV infections among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33% reduction since 2001. New HIV infections among children have been reduced to 260 000 in 2012, a reduction of 52% since 2001.
AIDS-related deaths have also dropped by 30% since the peak in 2005 as access to antiretroviral treatment expands.
By the end of 2012, some 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase of nearly 20% in just one year. In 2011, UN Member States agreed to a 2015 target of reaching 15 million people with HIV treatment.
Despite a flattening in donor funding for HIV, which has remained around the same as 2008 levels, domestic spending on HIV has increased, accounting for 53% of global HIV resources in 2012. The total global resources available for HIV in 2012 was estimated at US$ 18.9 billion, US$ 3-5 billion short of the US$ 22-24 billion estimated to be needed annually by 2015.
In 2012, an estimated 35.3 million [32.2 million – 38.8 million] people globally were living with HIV, 2.3 million [1.9 million – 2.7 million] people became newly infected with HIV,1.6 million [1.4 million – 1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses.
HIV can only be transmitted between people through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a bodily fluid. Hence, there has been a lot of stigma around the spread of HIV and people living with HIV and AIDS.
On October 27, 1988, the UN General Assembly officially recognized that the World Health Organization declared December 1, 1988, to be World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day has also been observed on this date each year since then.