On June 5th, 1981 the Center for Disease Control in the United States reported a cluster of a rare lung infection among 5 homosexual males in Los Angels, California. Within days, more reports of this lung infection and other rare diseases were being reported in major cities. By August 1982, newspapers and scientific journals were using the acronym, “AIDS”, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, when referring to the disease. It was not until 1984 that it was discovered that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS, was caused by the retrovirus, HIV. The first Word AIDS Day took place in 1988 when world health ministers met to discuss the AIDS epidemic.
Since the first reports came in to the CDC in 1981, there have been over 23 million AIDS related deaths worldwide. World AIDS Day which takes place every year on December 1st is to show, not only support for those who have infected with HIV and AIDS but also to bring awareness to the public about HIV health and discrimination, a problem that still remains in the world today.
A way to participate in the global efforts on December 1st is by learning the facts about HIV and AIDS and putting the knowledge learned to use in everyday life. By understanding the facts of HIV and AIDS it can be ensured that people living with HIV be treated fairly and with respect and to generate an overall heightened awareness. A great way to show support for is to donate to NAT, National AIDS Trust. The National AIDS Trust uses its funds to spread knowledge about HIV in order to change the attitudes, decisions and polices of those living with the virus.
World AIDS Day is a day to bring awareness of the 33.3 million people, worldwide currently living with HIV and AIDS. Knowledge learned and put to use will help lessen the discrimination of those 33.3 million affected and help reduce infection rate.