May 18 is celebrated as World AIDS Vaccine Day, It is also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. On this day, HIV vaccine advocates promote the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. In our society AIDS and HIV is an ever present health issue. There is still no vaccine that can be particularly used to stem the flow of this deadly infection. To raise awareness of the continued need for a vaccine there is a day set aside every year that is Known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day or World AIDS Day.
In 1997, during a speech made at Morgan State University, president of the day Bill Clinton asked for a scientists and experts around all over the world to work towards creating a Vaccine for AIDS. He said that this would be the only solution to control its spread.
This day provide a chance to thank several thousands of volunteers, community, supporters, members, health professionals, and scientists those who are working and researching to find a safe and effective AIDS Vaccine. AIDS is the most advanced stage of infection caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Both the names HIV and AIDS may confuse you as both the terms describe same disease But it is not necessary that a person who is HIV Positive should have AIDS.
Theme of world AIDS Day :-
Government has given many of the to make every people aware of the HIV – AIDS Disease, and the Themes are as follows :-
- The Theme of the year 2010 is “Universal Access and Human Rights”.
- The Theme from the year 2011 to 2015 is “Getting to zero : zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths”.
- The Theme of the year 2016 is “Hands up for HIV protection : Access Equity Right Now”.
- The Theme of the year 2017 is “Right to Health”.
- The Theme of the year 2018 is “Known your Status”.
- The Theme of the year 2019 is “Ending the HIV / AIDS Epidemic : Community by Community”.
The symptoms of HIV at each stage can vary in type and rapidity from person-to-person and from many years some people may not have any symptoms at all. Without the treatment of antiretroviral, the virus returns in the body and causes more and more damage to the immune system of our body. That is why people need to start treatment as soon as possible after testing the test positive.
There are three main stages of HIV infection.
STAGE – 1
Acute primary infection :-
Around 1-4 weeks after getting initial infection of HIV. Some people feel symptoms like flu – but not everyone feel this and people may only get some of the symptoms like flu.
Other symptoms can include :
Fever (raised temperature), body rash, sore throat, swollen glands, headache, upset stomach, joint aches and pains, muscle pain. These symptoms can happen because your body is reacting to the HIV infection.
STAGE – 2
The asymptomatic stage :-
When person has been passed through the process of primary infection stage and then they feel better. After the initial symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause any further symptoms for many years (It depends on age, background, and general Health) but after few years the virus will still be active, and may cause new cells and making copies itself. On during this stage HIV can still be passed. HIV infection will cause severe damage to the immune system.
STAGE – 3
Symptomatic HIV infection :-
A person immune system is severely damaged by the third stage of the infection of HIV disease. During this stage, they were more likely to get serious infections, fungal or bacterial diseases that the body would be able to fight off. Once the immune system becomes severely damaged symptoms can include in it.
Other symptoms can include :
Weight loss, night sweats, fever, Chronic diarrhoea, mouth and skin problems, serious illness or disease, regular infections and persistent cough.
Some people do not get any symptoms during stages 1 and 2 but they can still pass on HIV. That is why HIV is often transmitted by people who do not know they have the virus.
On this World AIDS Vaccine Day, let us be more careful and keep this precautions.
- Get regular blood test done from time to time do not wait for any symptoms of AIDS to appear and get yourself detected for AIDS.
- Always speak to your general practitioner and local sexual health clinic for any advice on AIDS or HIV to reduce the risk of the disease.
- Do not ever share needles or any other injecting devices to prevent transmission of AIDS virus.
- Always have safe intercourse to avoid the spread of AIDS or any other sexually – transmitted disease.
- Talk to your partner about HIV testing and get tested before you have sex.
- HIV positive women should consider giving birth by caesarian section.
- Always use disposable gloves when at risk of direct contact with blood.
- You should have limit your number of sexual partner.
- All HIV positive new mother’s should consider feeding their baby with formula instead of breastfeeding.
- To offer a technical support to the member states for implementing the plan for prevention, treatment for HIV or AIDS which will be include testing counseling antiretroviral therapy etc.
- To make awareness among the people about antiretroviral medicines which can help them to fight against HIV infection.
- People who are very likely to get HIV, like sex workers, or those in a relationship with someone who is HIV positive, can take pill every day to help prevent infection. This is called PreP, or Pre-exposure prophylaxis.
- Doctors recommended every people to get some treatment for the prevention of HIV- AIDS.
- To decrease the number of patients infected by HIV or AIDS.
- Government now a days is used to tell people to use condoms as it prevents the person to get infected by AIDS disease.
- To guide member states for increasing the prevention and control measures for HIV or AIDS globally.
- Government through the media and News channels spread the causes, Effects, cure as well as prevention of AIDS.
- To encourage students from Colleges and schools to contribute in the compaign Organised for AIDS.
Celebration of World AIDS Day :-
- World AIDS Day is used to celebrate by many of the people to give every knowledge of the AIDS disease.
- There are many camps of the HIV- AIDS are Organized by the government to make every people Know about the HIV- AIDS Disease.
- Scientists are trying hard to find and search for lots of vaccines of AIDS.
- The government has also published AIDS Disease on the Internet to give every people knowledge about AIDS.
History of World AIDS Day :-
The history of World AIDS Day. This day was observed by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS. These officers worked for the World Health Organization in the Global Programme on AIDS James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter took their proposal for World AIDS Day to the Director of the Global Programme on AIDS Jonatham Mann who liked the idea. Then, he recommended the first World AIDS day to be begins on 1 Dec, 1998. United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, abbreviated to UNAIDS came into existence in 1996 and the World AIDS Day was proposed as one of the major changes in organizing World AIDS Day. In 1981, AIDS was first reported in the United States and then become a World Wide epidemic.
From India’s perspective :-
India is often described as the world’s largest democracy. India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. In 2017, HIV prevalence among adult (aged 15-49) was an estimated 0.2% . This figure is small compared to most other middle-income countries but because of India’s huge population (1.3 billion people) this equates to 2.1 million people living with HIV. Overall, India’s HIV epidemic is slowing down. Between 2010 and 2017 new infections declined by 27% and AIDS related deaths more than halved, falling by 56%. In 2017, 79% of people living with HIV were aware of their status, of whom 71% were on antiretroviral treatment (ART). The first cases of HIV infection in India were detected in 1986 among female sex workers in Chennai. A rapid increase followed in many states.
Over the past decade, India has made significant progress in tackling its HIV epidemic, especially in comparison with other countries in the region.
Key affected populations in India :-
Although sex work is not illegal in India. In 2017, an estimated 1.6% of female sex workers in India were living with HIV, This figure varies between states like In Maharashtra prevalence among female sex workers is estimated at 7.4% and In Andhra Pradesh 6.3%. HIV prevalence is higher among men than women, with 0.25% of men and 0.19% of women living with HIV as of 1
Sex workers :-
Sex workers are one of the high-risk groups targeted by India’s National AIDS control Organisation (NACO). In 2018, NACO reported reaching 84% of sex workers in rural areas in around 100 districts with peer-led prevention, testing and treatment.
In 2017, data reported to UNAIDS suggests around 67% of HIV positive sex workers were aware of their status and 91% of sex workers (HIV positive and negative) reported using condoms.
Truck drivers :-
A number of studies have reported high vulnerability of truckers to HIV transmission in India. A 2015 study found 49% of truckers in central India reported paying for sex, of whom 21.5% had an STI. A key driver is unprotected sex among key populations and their clients and partners. However, injecting drug use in the north and northeast of the country is also pushing up HIV prevalence.
After the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended HIV self-testing in 2016, India Ministry of Health indicated it would investigate the feasibility of self testing kits, initially among high-risk populations. In 2017, 88,000 people in India were newly infected with HIV, The majority were men, who accounted for 50,000 new infections. There were 3,700 among children (aged 0-14 years).
Improving data collection and analysis is crucial to identifying these pockets of new infections and understanding patterns of vulnerability, making this field crucial to the success if Indias HIV response. India has embarked on a targeted HIV prevention strategy in recent years which is strongly associated with a fall in infection rate in both low and high-risk groups.
The HIV epidemic in India is largely concentrated in the populations with behavior that puts them at risk.
Characteristics of the Epidemic in India :-
- A low-level epidemic in general population.
- Elevated concentrations among high risk population.
- Primiarily hetero sexually driven but MSM- and IDU- driven epidemics are sizable.
- Heterogeneous in distribution.
- Different burden across and within states, with vulnerabilities and risks differing geographically and by subpopulation.
The HIV epidemic in India clearly shows the signs of decline. However, continuing reasons for concern are the sustained level of epidemic among MSM and increasing trends in some of the states. It is critical that the resources for prevention programmes are made available in timely manner. Only with sustained efforts it may be possible to achieve the WHO goal of 90-90-90.
Some related Questions :-
- What is the purpose of celebrating World AIDS Vaccine Day?
The main purpose of celebrating World AIDS day every year is to build new and effective policies and programmes to strengthen the systems of health and also to increase the capacity to health sectors towards HIV or AIDS.
- What is AIDS?
AIDS is a chronic disease which is caused by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) . The full form of AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Due to the disease immune system becomes weak and people are most vulnerable to infections and diseases.
- What Happens on World AIDS Vaccine Day?
World AIDS Vaccine Day takes place on May 18th. The first was observed on May 18 in 1998. One year exactly after Clinton’s speech. Every year since then the commemoration has take place. Activities are Organised around the globe.
The aim of the activities is to raise awareness of the need for AIDS vaccines and to educate people about how HIV can be prevented. Ordinary people are reminded that they can also play a part in ending the pandemic.
- Where is HIV found in the body?
It is found in all the tissues of the body but transmitted through the body fluid of an infected person via-blood, semen, breast milk etc. It mainly attacks the T-cells in the immune system. HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, blood transmission, perinatal transmission. Symptoms may include fever, joint pain, muscle aches, sore throat, tiredness, weakness, unintentional weight loss etc.
- What happens when person suffering from HIV infection?
A person suffering from HIV infection is said to have AIDS when his or her immune system becomes so weak that it can not fight with other kind of infections and cancers like PCP a type of pneumonia, KS that is Kaposi sarcoma which is a type of cancer that affects the skin and internal organs , TB etc.
- How many cases of AIDS are there in India?
India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 2.1 million people living with HIV. India’s epidemic is concentrated among key affected populations, including sex workers and men who have sex with men.
- Who is the first patient of AIDS in India?
In 1986, the first known case of HIV in India was diagnosed by Dr. Suniti Solomon and her student Dr. Sellappan Nirmala amongst six female sex workers in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
How common is AIDS in India?
The government of India estimates that about 2.40 million Indians are living with HIV (1.93 – 3.04 million) with an adult prevalence of 0.31% (2009). Children (<15 yrs) account for 3.5% of all infections, while 83% are in the age group 15-49 years. Of all HIV infections, 39% (930,000) are among women.