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World AIDS Day 2022: Theme, History & Significance

Dec 01, 2022

World AIDS Day 2022

Enhance your UPSC CSE preparation with our daily dose of Current Affairs wherein we discuss topics that make news at the National and International levels.

In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will discuss World AIDS Day 2022: Theme, History & Significance. The topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: Science and Technology

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Stem cell transplantation, World Aids Day, Antiretroviral therapy (ART), National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NACP, Phase-V).

For Mains: GS Paper II: Governance & Social Justice, GS Paper III: Science and Technology

About AIDS, Prevention of HIV & AIDS, About World Aids Day, Situation of AIDS, Status of AIDS in India, Efforts Taken by Indian Government.


Recently the AIDS Society of India reported, ahead of World AIDS Day, December 1, that an array of “missed opportunities” is plaguing the AIDS response worldwide.

Probable Question

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, it is said that an array of “missed opportunities” is plaguing the AIDS response worldwide. Discuss (150 words, 10 marks).

About AIDS

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a later stage of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  • It is a syndrome caused by HIV, but not everyone suffering from HIV develops AIDS.
  • HIV is caused by a virus and if not treated well it can cause AIDS.
  • Causes of HIV: It can spread through sexual contact, illicit injection drug use or sharing needles, contact with infected blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. 
  • Effects: 
    • HIV destroys CD4 T cells (white blood cells) that play a significant role in helping your body fight disease.
    • Once HIV attacks the CD4 cells, it starts replicating itself and destroys, weakening the body’s immune system and making it more prone to certain “opportunistic infections”. 
    • Some of the opportunistic infections associated with AIDS include cryptococcal meningitis, toxoplasmosis, oesophageal candidiasis, and certain cancers.
  • Prevention of HIV & AIDS:
    • The contraction of HIV is fully preventable, using suitable measures of prevention to stop its transmission.
    • As of now, there is no cure for HIV and it can be treated by the administration of antiretroviral (ART) drugs that stop the virus from replicating itself. 
    • Essentially, most people infected with HIV who use ART, do not develop AIDS.
    • Stem cell transplantation is also very much prevalent in curing HIV.

About World Aids Day

  • Every year on December 1, people around the globe observe World AIDS Day.
  • It was first observed in 1988 by the World Health Organization.
  • Objective:
    • It is commemorated to remember those who lost their lives to Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related illness. 
    • It is also the day when people come together to raise awareness in the fight against HIV. 
  • World AIDS Day theme of 2022: ‘Equalize’. The slogan is a call to action for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities to help end AIDS. 

The situation of AIDS

  • Globally, data for 2021 shows that 38.4 million people living with HIV (PLHIV), out of which 1.7 million were children. 
  • 54% of all PLHIV were women and girls. 
  • In 2021, 6,50,000 people died of AIDS-related diseases. 
  • Around 1.5 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2021 and 4,000 new infections every day as per the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
  • Globally, of all people living with HIV (PLHIV), 85% knew their status, 75% were accessing treatment and 68% were virally suppressed in 2021.

Status of AIDS in India

  • Total Cases: In India, an estimated 2.4 million people were living with HIV in 2021 (including 70,000 children). 
  • Other Data: Out of 2.4 million PLHIV, 1.9 million or 77% knew their HIV status; 1.6 million (or 65%) were on life-saving antiretroviral therapy, and 1.3 million (55%) had suppressed viral load. 
  • News Cases: More alarmingly, 63,000 people have newly infected with HIV in 2021 in India i.e. 173 new infections every day or 7 infections every hour. 
  • Deaths: There were 42,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2021 (5 deaths every hour).
  • Regions that require attention: Its spread is yet to be controlled in some states like Andhra Pradesh, where all districts have more than 5,000 people living with HIV AIDS. 

Efforts Taken by the Indian Government:

  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART): India has contributed immensely by making antiretroviral therapy (ART) affordable and accessible to over 90% of people living with HIV in the world.
  • National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS: It is a 7-year plan, launched by the government of India to  work towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NACP, Phase-V): It is a Central Sector Scheme fully funded by the Government of India for a period of five years from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2026, to eliminate HIV.
  • Other gamechanger initiatives: The HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act (2017), Test and Treat Policy, Universal Viral Load Testing, Mission Sampark, Community-Based Screening, transition to Dolutegravir-based Treatment Regimen, etc. 

News Source: The Indian Express

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