19 May 2020

It is customary to remember people who died from AIDS every year on the third Sunday of May. This is done also in order to attract the attention of the world community to the problems of AIDS patients and carriers of HIV infection, as well as to the spread of this disease in the world.

For the first time World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims was celebrated in 1983 in San Francisco, USA. A few years later, the symbol of the movement against this disease appeared. Red ribbon pinned to clothes became the symbol, as well as multi-colored canvases – quilts sewn from shreds of fabric in memory of many people who passed away. These attributes were invented in 1991 by artist Frank Moore. At present, on the World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims, the activists of this action and simply not indifferent people attach red ribbons to their clothes.

HIV infection is a disease that the human immunodeficiency virus causes. HIV infects the human immune system, eventually depriving it of the ability to resist other diseases and infections. AIDS is the last stage of the development of HIV infection.

According to statistics from the World Health Association, about 37 million people infected with the HIV virus are living on the planet, and every day this figure is increasing by further 14-15 thousand. Most HIV-infected people are young people under the age of 30. About 25 million people have died from AIDS over the past 25 years.

About two-thirds of all AIDS sufferers live in Africa. According to some scientists, one in three adults is infected with HIV on the «black continent»; there are countries where more than 90 percent of the total population is infected with the virus. According to doctors, AIDS first appeared particularly in Africa. The first mention about AIDS appeared in the 1980s, and soon the disease began to be called the «plague of the 20th century».

AIDS sufferers were discovered in 1978 in the United States. Most researchers believe that HIV in its modern form appeared on the planet no more than 50 years ago. The «sexual revolution» that spread to Western countries in the late 1960s and early 1970s «helped» it spread. In 1985, a virus, the infection of which in a few years leads to the development of AIDS, was discovered.

HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, through transfusion of contaminated blood, through the sharing of contaminated needles and syringes, and from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. People with many sexual partners, as well as drugs users who inject them intravenously, are especially at risk. Entering syringes and needles or drug solutions, infected blood causes the rapid spread of HIV in this environment.

The timely diagnosis of this disease plays a key role in the fight against HIV.

There is no medication for HIV, but with proper adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), the progression of HIV in the body can be slowed to an almost complete stop.

According to the United Nations AIDS Program (UNAIDS), the global number of people living with HIV is more than 37 million. At the end of June 2019, 24,5 million people received treatment in the framework of antiretroviral therapy worldwide.

According to WHO, HIV has claimed more than 32 million lives. The most affected region is the African Region, which accounts for more than two thirds of the total number of new HIV infections. At the same time, in 2000-2018, the number of new HIV infections in the world decreased by 37%, the AIDS-related mortality rate decreased by 45%.

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Material is prepared on the basis of WHO and open sources information