World Aids Day takes place on the first of December every year. The main purpose of this global day is to provide information to people across the world about Aids and the HIV virus. It is also a day to remember the people that have lost their lives from the disease throughout the world. The international event has a theme allocated for each year and many past themes have been politically or socially motivated. For example the theme from 2012 to the present concerns zero deaths from HIV and zero discrimination. The focus the day’s campaigns has been education campaigns concerned with early treatment and prevention however there have been other themes throughout the history of this annual global event.
Tens of millions of people have died from Aids and HIV since 1981. Millions in the world are still living and dying with the disease. World Aids Day has been supported by Non Governmental Organizations such as the WHO and governments throughout the world. World Aids Day came about through the ideas of public health officers from the WHO. The idea was approved by senior member of the WHO and the first World Aids Day was on the 1st of December 1988. The UN has been heavily involved with the the planning of the event but the day is now independent from all other organizations.
The main symbol for this global event is the red ribbon. It is the global symbol of HIV awareness and support. The day is also marked by public displays throughout the world for the purpose of raising awareness. Some of the displays have included a giant condom placed over the Obelisco de Buenos Aires in 2005, a 28 foot Aids ribbon placed near the White House in 2007 and students posing as a red ribbon in Cheonggyecheon, South Korea in 2007 . There has also been publicity campaigns and various marches commemorating the event internationally.
Word Aids Day is an important awareness campaign for all ages but particularly youth in developing countries who are still learning about sexual reproduction and do not have access to education. Much of the awareness is focused on sexual health and safe sexual practices like using condoms, barriers and contraceptives for prevention. World Aids Day also educates people about the reasons why HIV and Aids is contracted but also tells them about symptoms and prevention of the disease. Education and awareness also aims to break down the stigma and discrimination of people that have HIV and Aids.
World Aids Day has made a significant contribution to global health and continues to spread a message of hope for millions of people still suffering with the disease including children. Despite significant breakthroughs in antiretroviral treatments all over the world, there are still many contributions to be made by spreading the message about Aids and HIV prevention. There is a constant barrage of sexual messages promoted to young people in advertising, film and music. Education campaigns and public displays continue to fight the ‘sex sells’ ideas promoted by various media and entertainment industries.