Thursday, 1 December 2011

World AIDS Day


World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

More than 90,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

HIV Facts

  • HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body's immune system — the body's defense against diseases.
  • HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.
  • There are now more people than ever living with HIV in the UK — more than 90,000 — with around a quarter of those unaware they have the virus.
  • Over 90% of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
  • You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
  • HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
  • Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
  • You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
  • There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV

Show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness.

NAT has launched HIVaware – to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round.

To show your support and donate to World AIDS Day click here.

To view more information on World AIDS Day, HIV and the National AIDS Trust view the website.

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