World AIDS Day 2021 themes, history and why it's observed

The first five cases of what later became known as AIDS were reported 40 years ago.

Health, World Aids Day

12/2/2021 2:27:00 AM

The first five cases of what later became known as AIDS were reported 40 years ago.

The first five cases of what later became known as AIDS were reported 40 years ago.

World AIDS Day marked the first global health day when it was founded back in 1988.The day is observed to raise awareness about the condition, the stigma around it and information on prevention and treatment, as well as to reflect on the global response to the epidemic and what more needs to be done.

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This year marks 40 years since the first five cases of AIDS were reported. On June 5, 1981, the CDC published its first report of five previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles who were diagnosed with what would later become known as AIDS.By the end of 1981, a total of 337 cases of individuals with severe immune deficiency were reported in the country.

In July 1981,New York Timespublished an article titled"Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals," and at this point, the term"gay cancer" entered the public lexicon, according to the CDC.In 1990, a teenager named Ryan White died after being diagnosed with AIDS following a blood transfusion. He faced AIDS-related discrimination in his community in Indiana when he tried to return to school following his diagnosis. headtopics.com

World AIDS Day 2021 ThemeEach year, World AIDS Day is centered around a different theme. The theme has beenThe U.S. government's World AIDS Day theme for 2021 is"Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone's Voice."The latest theme underscores the

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Joe Bidenadministration's"strong commitment to ending the HIV epidemic globally by addressing health inequities and ensuring the voices of people with HIV are central in all our work," according to a statement in November on HIV.gov, an official government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The 2021 theme highlights the government's commitment to address"individual, community, and structural factors and inequities that drive the HIV epidemic" and to help those most in need of support."This includes through concerted efforts to reach key affected populations, such as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men; racial and ethnic minorities, especially Black/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos; cisgender and transgender women and girls; the LGBTQI+ community; those who use drugs; and other marginalized populations," the statement said.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2020 in the U.S. was"Resilience and Impact" (noting the additional challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic), while in 2019 it was"Community by Community" (as a reminder that"all epidemics are local" and communities must respond together to stop the epidemic in its tracks). headtopics.com

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In 2019, the government announced theEnding the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, which highlighted four key ways to help eliminate the HIV/AIDS epidemic:diagnosing people with HIV as early as possible, treating folks with HIV rapidly, preventing new infections by implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe services programs (SSPs), and responding quickly to potential HIV outbreaks.

Volunteers light candles forming the shape of a red ribbon and a message reading"Stop AIDS" during an awareness event on World AIDS Day in Kolkata, India on December 1, 2019.DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty ImagesHIV/AIDS—Where We Are NowHIV remains a"major global public health issue," having claimed the lives of over 36 million people to date, according to a statement Tuesday from the World Health Organization. This includes 700,000 Americans.

By the end of 2020, there was reported to be an estimated 37.7 million people living with HIV, while 680,000 died from HIV-related causes.According to the CDC, at the end of 2019, the most recent year for which the information is available, an estimated 1,189,700 people in the U.S. were reported to have HIV.

In a statement Monday, UNAIDS warned that the world could face 7.7 million AIDS-related deaths over the next 10 years if leaders fail to tackle inequalities and take the"transformative measures needed to end AIDS."UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima stated:"Progress against the AIDS pandemic, which was already off track, is now under even greater strain as the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage, disrupting HIV prevention and treatment services, schooling, violence-prevention programmes and more." headtopics.com

Byanyima added efforts must be made to simultaneously end AIDS while"preparing for the pandemics of tomorrow."

Read more: Newsweek »

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Statements by HHS Leaders Commemorating World AIDS Day on December 1, 2021Today marks World AIDS Day. HHS leaders, including HHS_ASH, are remembering and honoring those we have lost to HIV , and reaffirming their commitment to ending the HIV epidemic. Learn more: HHS_ASH Thanks dude HHS_ASH Sadly, this should have been cured long ago. We are suffocating honest and brutal science with tape and bureaucracy. Reasons one can only speculate upon, but things like HIV and AIDs, and Cancer cures should NEVER be stifled. Surgeon_General We should mandate all Americans have to be placed on PrEP antivirals to wipe out aids once and for all! No choice. No antivirals, no job.

Statements by HHS Leaders Commemorating World AIDS Day on December 1, 2021Today marks World AIDS Day. HHS leaders, including HHS_ASH, are remembering and honoring those we have lost to HIV , and reaffirming their commitment to ending the HIV epidemic. Learn more: HHS_ASH Thanks dude HHS_ASH Sadly, this should have been cured long ago. We are suffocating honest and brutal science with tape and bureaucracy. Reasons one can only speculate upon, but things like HIV and AIDs, and Cancer cures should NEVER be stifled. Surgeon_General We should mandate all Americans have to be placed on PrEP antivirals to wipe out aids once and for all! No choice. No antivirals, no job.

The changing face of HIV activismOn World AIDS Day, max_morris, a writer and academic living with HIV unpicks the ways in which protest and awareness look different in 2021.

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