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World AIDS Day 2023

  • 04 Dec 2023
  • 5 min read

Source: TH

Why in News?

Every year on 1st December, World AIDS Day is commemorated globally to raise awareness about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and honor those who have succumbed to it.

  • World Aids Day was first observed in 1988 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised the day.
  • The theme for World AIDS Day 2023 is ‘Let communities lead.’

What is HIV/AIDS Disease?

  • About:
    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system.
      • AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.
    • 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.
  • Transmission:
    • HIV can spread through multiple sources, by coming in direct contact with certain body fluids from a person infected with HIV, who has a detectable viral load. It can be blood, semen, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid or breast milk.
  • Symptoms:
    • Once HIV converts into AIDS then it may present in initial symptoms like unexplained fatigue, fever, sores around genitals or neck, pneumonia etc.
  • Prevalence of HIV AIDS:
    • It is estimated that globally 39 million persons are living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
    • In India the figure is 2.4 million.
    • There were 1.3 million new HIV infections in 2022 globally and 63,000 in India.
      • In 2022, 650,000 persons died due to these conditions globally. In India, AIDS caused 42,000 deaths. Many of these opportunistic infections are preventable and treatable.

What are the India’s Efforts to Prevent HIV?

  • HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017: According to this act, the central and state governments shall take measures to prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS.
  • Access to ART:
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
    • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed a MoU with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2019 for enhanced HIV/AIDS outreach and to reduce the incidence of social stigma and discrimination against victims of drug abuse and Children and People Living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Project Sunrise:
    • Project Sunrise was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016, to tackle the rising HIV prevalence in north-eastern states in India, especially among people injecting drugs.
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP):
    • Offering PrEP medications to individuals at high risk of contracting HIV can significantly reduce the chances of infection when taken consistently.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Which of the following diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through tattooing? (2013)

  1. Chikungunya
  2. Hepatitis B

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

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