World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 every year since 1988. It is dedicated to raise awareness, educate and improve the understanding of HIV as a global public health problem. It provides an opportunity to understand the interdependence between progress in ending Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and progress towards universal health coverage and the right to health.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first World AIDS Day. On this World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is campaigning for people to know their HIV status and their viral load This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is- “Live life positively. Know your HIV status”.
HIV testing is essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all people living with HIV can lead healthy and productive lives. It is also crucial to achieving the 90–90–90 targets and empowering people to take prevention to protect themselves and their loved ones.
In 2017 an estimated, 37 million people globally were living with HIV and 9.4 million people were not aware that they are living with a potentially deadly, but treatable, disease.
In India, there were 21.40 lakhs people living with HIV(PLHIV) in 2017. According to National AIDS Control Programme, new HIV infection decline by 85% since the peak of 1995 and by 27% between 2010-2017.
What is HIV/AIDS?
Infection caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the human body results into weakening of people’s immune system (defense system) against infections and some types of cancer. This immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections, cancers and other diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off.
The most advanced stage of HIV infection is called as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It is defined by the occurrence of any of more than 20 opportunistic infections or HIV-related cancers.
Signs and symptoms:
How is HIV transmitted?
High Risk groups (HRGs)- Female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender (TG)/Hijra and injecting drug users (IDUs) belong to high risk groups.
Bridge Populations- Individuals who have sexual partners in the high risk groups as well as other partners of lower risk (general population) are called a “bridge population”, because they form a transmission bridge from the HRGs to the general population. Truckers and Migrant workers are named as bridge population due to their close proximity with high risk groups and are at the risk of contracting HIV.
HIV is not transmitted:
Prevention and control of HIV/AIDS:
National Aids control programme (NACP) is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The programme is being implemented through the State AIDS Control Societies (SACS) and District AIDS Prevention and Control Units (DAPCUs) in the country to reduce new infections by 50% (2007 Baseline of NACP III) and to provide comprehensive care, support and treatment to all persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Components of NACP IV:
2.Comprehensive care, support and treatment
3.Strengthening institutional capacities
4.Strategic information management systems (SIMS)
Even though the prevalence of HIV is decreasing over the last decade, following activities under the NACP would provide essential support in arresting new infections and thereby achieving the target of "Ending the epidemic by 2030" for Sustainable Development Goals.
Red Ribbon Express- It travels across the country through a specified route chart to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, promote safe behavioural practices, strengthen people's knowledge about the measures to be taken to prevent this epidemic and develop an understanding about the disease to reduce stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Key ways to prevent HIV transmission
For more information-www.nhp.gov.in
Know about-The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
( Prevention and Control ) Act 2017-click here