Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. It was started in 1988, and is used to spread awareness and hope in the fight against the disease. The World AIDS Day theme for 2010 is “Universal Access and Human Rights.” Although huge strides have been made through research for treatment of AIDS, such as through the AIDS charity Avert, much remains to be accomplished.
The focus on human rights and universal access to care encourages countries around the world to ensure equal care for every sufferer of AIDS and create enhanced prevention programs. Countries around the world are participating in World AIDS Day. Increased availability and access to testing will be available in many areas of the United States. The European Medical Student’s Association is giving lectures and sponsoring charity concerts to spread AIDS awareness.
How has AIDS impacted the world?
Cause of Death
According to the Population Reference Bureau, AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. In parts of Africa, AIDS ranks number 1. It has killed roughly 3.1 million people worldwide. After first being discovered and recognized in the 1980s, AIDS has skyrocketed to the top of the list as a killer.
AIDS has devastated many governments and economies. According to UN AIDS, the disease often kills adults in the prime of their lives. These adults are the main driving force in economies, and their deaths have had a large negative impact. AIDS has extended and increased poverty conditions for many people around the world.
Response to Disease
The AIDS epidemic has shown how small our world really is and the immense danger diseases can pose to the population. The disease was not able to be contained and was easily spread to vast amounts of people around the world. Governments were unable to handle AIDS. In response to the horror AIDS has inflicted in the world, new diseases are addressed much more quickly to try to prevent new epidemics.
The advancement in treatment for AIDS patients and improvements in quality of life and lifespan demonstrate the changes focus, research, and awareness can make in the fight against diseases. Unfortunately, many of the advancements in care have not extended to those areas of the world hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic. As the focus of 2010 World AIDS Day, hopefully “universal access and human rights” will help extend the improvements to the many in the world needing care.