World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 every year. World AIDS Day is dedicated to spreading awareness about the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which is spread by a virus called human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV prevention, testing and treatment are all being disrupted worldwide particularly in countries where heathcare infrastructure is weak. According to the World Health Organisation, the “breakdown in essential HIV services due to COVID-19 is threatening lives”. “We must fight on with passion and we must keep human rights at the centre of our societies and of our health systems, or we will not end the HIV epidemic,” Executive Director of UNAIDS said in her message on World AIDS Day.
World AIDS Day 2020: Facts You Should Know
- Theme of World AIDS Day 2020: “Global solidarity, resilient services”.
- World AIDS day is marked by the WHO as a “global public health campaign.”
- Globally, 12.6 million people living with HIV still don’t have access to treatment: United Nations
- An estimated 38,000,000 people are living with HIV in 2019: WHO
- HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed almost 33 million lives so far: WHO
- By June 2020, 26 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy, marking a 2.4% increase from an estimate of 25.4 million at the end of 2019: WHO
- 85% of pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV also received ART (antiretroviral therapy): WHO
- “Health is a human right – and universal health coverage must be a top investment priority. To overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, the world must stand in solidarity and share responsibility: UN chief Antonio Gueterres.