World AIDS Vaccine Day 2024- History, Theme, and Significance

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World AIDS Vaccine Day

Every year, the world unites to celebrate World AIDS Vaccine Day on May 18. It serves as a reminder of the battle against HIV/AIDS and the need for its vaccines. The day also honours volunteers, health professionals, community members, and scientists involved in the process of creating the AIDS vaccine. Despite technological and scientific advancements, HIV still remains a global health concern. Read this blog to learn more about the history of World AIDS Vaccine Day and its significance.

Name of the dayWorld AIDS Vaccine Day
Observed onMay 18
Reason To spread awareness about HIV/AIDS and vaccines. 
Theme 2024Not released yet

History of the World AIDS Vaccine Day

  • US President Bill Clinton gave a speech on 18th May 1997 emphasizing on the importance of the AIDS vaccine.
  • In his speech, the former president suggested the creation of an effective HIV vaccine to eradicate the AIDS disease.
  • He has appealed to the world to create an AIDS vaccine within the next decade with the help of science and technology. 
  • Consequently, the first World AID Vaccine Day was observed in 1988.
  • Since then, communities around the world have organised activities to raise awareness about this fatal disease.
  • On this day steps are taken to educate the people about the importance of vaccines. HIV is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Hence, spreading awareness about HIV vaccines is crucial.

AIDS Vaccine Day Timeline 

The timeline of the AIDS Vaccine Day is as follows:

1920HIV virus is linked to a virus that is detected in Chimps and begins to spread throughout Kinshasa.
1981The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) issues an AIDS report for the 1st time
2019The WHO reports state that 38.0 million people are living with AIDS
2020The WHO reports state that 26 million individuals are receiving antiretroviral medication.

Also Read: World AIDS Day: History, Theme, and Importance

Source: Divya Creativeworld

What is AIDS?

The full form of AIDS is Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS affects the immune system of the person by targeting the white blood cells of the human body. As a result, the person who is having AIDS can easily get sick with illnesses such as TB, and cancer.

What are the Symptoms of AIDS? 

Below are the main symptoms of AIDS. Do note that the disease can be spread easily in the first few months. However, most people are unaware of it till they get to the later stages. As the infection progresses it causes other symptoms.

Symptoms in the 1st few monthsSymptoms when AIDS progressesDiseases caused when AIDS is left untreated 
FeverSwollen lymph nodesTB
RashesWeight lossCryptococcal meningitis
HeadacheFeverSevere bacterial infections
Sore throatDiarrhoeaCancer.

Also Read: National Vaccination Day 2024: Date, History, Significance

What are the Causes of AIDS? 

Below are the main causes of AIDS.

  • Not using condoms for vaginal or anal sex
  • Having STI (sexually transmitted infection). For example,  herpes,  syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or bacterial vaginosis)
  • Using contaminated needles/syringes/injecting equipment. It can also be caused by injecting drug solutions into the body.
  • Individuals who engage in the use of alcohol/drugs in terms of sexual behaviour 
  • Getting unsafe blood transfusions/tissue transplantation/unsafe injections, or other medical procedures that involve piercing or cutting
  • Health workers who experience accidental needle stick injuries 

AIDS Treatment

So far no cure has been found for the HIV infection. However, antiretroviral drugs can be used to prevent the virus from replicating in the human body. The current ART or antiretroviral therapy can only help in building a person’s immune system. It does not help in curing the disease but only in fighting other illnesses. A person diagnosed with HIV has to take ART for the rest of their life.

Importance of the AIDS Vaccine 

Getting the AIDS vaccine is extremely important for the following reasons:

  • Several volunteers, community people, and health professionals are working to create HIV vaccines. These people can be recognised for their work.
  • Make treatment accessible for all, particularly at a time when International AIDS Funding has begun to decline.
  • It’s cost-effective. HIV vaccines are cheaper compared to lifetime therapy. Hence, it is important to get the AIDS vaccination.

Also Read: Take the World AIDS Day Quiz!

How to Observe World AIDS Vaccine Day?

The World AIDS Vaccine Day is observed in the following ways.

  • There are several national and international NGOs that are dedicated to combating AIDSs illness. Individuals can donate to these organizations to support the cause.
  • Sharing the #WorldAIDSVaccineDay can be helpful in spreading awareness about AIDS Vaccines.
  • Another way World AIDS Vaccine Day is observed is by educating the communities. It will help in spreading awareness about the disease and the significance of getting the vaccination to underdeveloped areas and minority groups.
  • Individuals who suspect that they might have AIDS need to get tested. This is another way to observe World AIDS Vaccine Day.

Interesting Facts About the World AIDS Vaccine Day

Here are some of the facts about the World AIDS Vaccine Day. 

  • Most people are unaware that they have AIDS. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 people have AIDS.
  • AIDS infect the cells that assist the body in fighting the infection. As a result, the person’s risk of contracting other diseases increases.
  • The disease can be spread due to intimate contact with a person who is infected and their bodily fluids.
  • Even children are at risk of contracting AIDS. By 2021, more than 3.3 children were affected by the illness 
  • At present no vaccine has been created to prevent AIDS. Nevertheless, effort has been made by the scientists to create one.
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What is the theme of World AIDS Vaccine Day?

Putting ourselves to the test- achieving equity to end HIV is the latest theme of the World AIDS Vaccine Day.  It encourages people to end the inequalities that create barriers to prevention, testing, and access to HIV healthcare. 

When is World AIDS Vaccine awareness day 2023?

The world AIDS vaccine awareness day will be celebrated on 18th May, 2023.

When was the first World AIDS Vaccine Day celebrated?

The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was celebrated in 1988. It was to celebrate the first AIDS vaccine trial that took place in 1997.

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