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 Immuno deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and progress towards universal health coverage and the right to health. Everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, has a right to health, which is also dependent on adequate sanitation and housing, nutritious food, healthy working conditions and access to justice. This year’s World AIDS Day campaign promotes the concept of "Right to health".
World AIDS Day 2017 theme is “My health, my right”. The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the need for all 36.7 million people living with HIV and those who are vulnerable and affected by the epidemic, to reach the goal of universal health coverage.

What Is HIV?


Infection caused by the Human Immuno Deficiency 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. Female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender (TG)/Hijra and injecting drug users (IDUs) belong to high risk groups. 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.

Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away  there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. World AIDS Day may be once a year, but you can still support people living with HIV all year round. Sign up to NAT’s mailing list to stay up-to-date with new developments in HIV, and learn how you can get involved as an activist or as a volunteer.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN #MYRIGHTTOHEALTH: 


The #myrighttohealth campaign will provide information about the right to health and what impact it has on people’s lives. It will also aim to increase the visibility around the need to achieve the full realization of the right to health by everyone, everywhere. Almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals are linked in some way to health, so achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending the AIDS epidemic, will depend heavily on ensuring the right to health. Remarkable progress is being made on HIV treatment. UNAIDS has launched a new report showing that access to treatment has risen significantly. In 2000, just 685 000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy. By June 2017, around 20.9 million people had access to the life-saving medicines. Such a dramatic scale-up could not have happened without the courage and determination of people living with HIV demanding and claiming their rights, backed up by steady, strong leadership and financial commitment.

NATIONAL AIDS CONTROL PROGRAMME:


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.
1.Preventive services
2.Comprehensive care, support and treatment
3.Strengthening institutional capacities
4.Strategic information management systems (SIMS)

NACP would provide essential support in arresting new infections and thereby achieving the target of "Ending the epidemic by 2030" for Sustainable Development Goals.
•    Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Disease (AIDS) Prevention and Control Bill to ensure equal rights to the people infected with HIV and AIDS in getting treatment and prevent discrimination of any kind.
•    ‘Test and Treat Policy’ for HIV with the objective of “as soon as a person is tested and found to be positive, he will be provided with ART irrespective of his CD count or clinical stage.”
•    The life-saving third line ART treatment for HIV patients free of cost
•    90–90–90 strategy will identify 90% of people living with HIV, place 90% of people identified as living with HIV on treatment and ensure that 90% of people on treatment have sustained viral load suppression by 2020.

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.

MESSAGE TO THE WORLD:
1.    Awareness is the best prevention for AIDS.
2.    There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission.
3.    With antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives.

 

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