World AIDS Day 2021 | 02 Dec 2021

Why in News

World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year all over the world to spread awareness about the disease and remember all those who lost their lives to it.

Key Points

  • About:
    • It was founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was the first ever global health day with a motto of raising public awareness about Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
      • AIDS is a pandemic disease caused by the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which damages the human immune system.
      • There were an estimated 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the African Region.
      • In 2020, 680 000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.5 million people acquired HIV.
  • Theme for 2021: ‘End inequalities. End AIDS’.
    • With a special focus on reaching people left behind,WHO and its partners are highlighting the growing inequalities in access to essential HIV services.
    • WHO is calling on global leaders and citizens to rally to confront the inequalities that drive AIDS and to reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services.
  • Significance:
    • The very day reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away and there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
    • It is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  • HIV attacks CD4, a type of White Blood Cell (T cells) in the body’s immune system. T cells are those cells that move around the body detecting anomalies and infections in cells.
  • After entering the body, HIV multiplies itself and destroys CD4 cells, thus severely damaging the human immune system. Once this virus enters the body, it can never be removed.
  • The CD4 count of a person infected with HIV reduces significantly. In a healthy body, CD4 count is between 500- 1600, but in an infected body, it can go as low as 200.

Source: PIB