World AIDS Day 2021 – End Inequalities, End AIDS

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The red ribbon is a symbol of commitment to challenge the stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV/AIDS.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread disruption to health services in many countries. Disruption to HIV services, as high as 75 percent, has been reported in some countries.

The risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 was 30 percent greater in people living with HIV compared to people without HIV infection.

In 2020, a WHO survey has found that during the peak of COVID-19, 73 countries ran out of HIV medicines and 24 countries had a low stock or disruptions in the supply of these life-saving medicines.


End Inequalities, End AIDS

This year’s World AIDS day theme is “End inequalities. End AIDS” which highlights the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics around the world.


The world risks missing the target to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct HIV prevention and treatment.

Economic, social, cultural, and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency considering AIDS as a crisis to prioritize tackling the underlying social injustices.

The measures needed to tackle inequalities include:

  • Community-led and people-centered infrastructure.
  • Equal access to medicines, vaccines, and health technologies.
  • Human rights, to build trust and tackle pandemics.
  • Elevating essential workers, and providing them with the resources.
  • People-centered data systems that highlight inequalities.

Countries have reached a fork in the road to end AIDS. The choice for policymakers to make is between bold action and half-measures. The data is clear that being too gradual can be an unaffordable choice.

Every minute that passes, precious life is lost to AIDS. The time for action has come.

To commemorate World AIDS day,

  • Join the WHO and UNAIDS online events.
  • Wear a red t-shirt and light a candle.
  • Volunteer at the programs to support people living with HIV.
  • Get tested for HIV.
  • Donate to AIDS trust.

World AIDS Day maybe once a year, but it can still support people living with HIV all year round.



References:

  1. World AIDS Day
    1 December – (https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-aids-day)
  2. End Inequalities. End Aids. End Pandemics.
    (https://www.unaids.org/en/2021-world-aids-day)
  3. World AIDS Day 2021 – End inequalities. End AIDS – (https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-aids-day/world-aids-day-2021)
  4. World AIDS Day – (https://www.worldaidsday.org/)

Source: Medindia



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