Since 1988, December 1st has been the day that people all over the world mark World AIDS Day. Thankfully since the first emergence of the epidemic, both treatment and understanding of the disease has progressed and we’re even a step closer to something as significant as an overall cure.
While an overall “cure” is not quite available yet, many people with the disease now have access to antiretroviral drugs which, once taken consistently can deliver a “normal” life to a person living with the disease. The keyword here though is “access” because in areas like Sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of new diagnoses occur, access to the vital antiretroviral medication is not as wide as it is in the developed world.
Furthermore, those who have the disease still at times experience stigma, discrimination, and inequality and this is largely due to a lack of education on the part of individuals. As outlined, with access to the necessary drugs and with care taken through the use of condoms and other prevention measures, the spread of the disease can and is being controlled.
With the United Nations-backed World AIDS Day, it is another opportunity for people to spread the message about how HIV and AIDS can be prevented. Education is needed for all ages and all across the world on this issue and needs to be consistently pushed in order for understanding to continue and for governments to recognize the importance of funding towards the likes of crucial medication.
World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for people to kill any stigma associated with the disease and hopefully prevent another life being lost to this disease which has taken so many peoples’ lives over the years.
The guys at UNAIDS have put together this infographic below which highlights some stark current data and statistical information on the disease in 2019.