Today is World AIDS Day. 40 years after the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome were discovered, HIV continues to threaten the world.
AIDS Day was established in 1988 by the World Health Organization and the UN General Assembly. The United Nations stresses the urgent need to end inequality. The world is committed to ending this problem by 2030. However, it is not being implemented now, not because of a lack of scientific knowledge or tools, but because of structural inequalities that hinder proven solutions for HIV prevention and treatment. Further – dry statistics data for 2020:
Last year, 37.7 million people in the world were living with HIV, and 680,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in a year. Over the entire period of the epidemic, 79.3 million people were infected with HIV, 36.3 million died from AIDS-related diseases. Of the 37.7 million people with HIV, 84% were aware of their illness, 36 million were adults, and 53% were women and girls. 73% had access to treatment. The number of new HIV infections in 2020 has decreased by 52% from a peak in 1997. Mortality decreased by 64% compared to 2004 and by 47% compared to 2010. Studies by British and South African scientists have shown that the risk of dying from COVID-19 among HIV-infected people is twice as high as among the general population. Africa is home to 2/3 (67%) of people living with HIV, but as of July 2021, only 3% of people there have received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Risk of HIV infection: 35 times higher among injection drug users; 34 times higher among trans women; 26 times higher among sex workers; 25 times higher among men who prefer same-sex sex.
HIV infection is a slowly progressive infectious disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. Reproducing, the virus infects cells of the immune system – CD4 + T-lymphocytes. As a result, their number is gradually decreasing. HIV infection destroys the defense system of the human body, and it becomes more susceptible to other infectious and neoplastic diseases.
The international symbol of the fight against AIDS is a red ribbon folded in a special way. The emblem was created in 1991 by the American artist Frank Moore, who died of AIDS in 2002 at the age of 48.