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World Aids Vaccine Day 2022: Date, History And Significance Of The Day

World Aids Vaccine Day: According to a 2021 World Health Organisation report, HIV has claimed as many as 36.3 million lives so far.

World Aids Vaccine Day 2022: Date, History And Significance Of The Day

World Aids Vaccine Day 2022: The days holds significance as millions battle the disease even today

World AIDS Vaccine Day, which is also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, is observed on May 18. The day is set aside to promote the impending need and importance of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a strain that targets the immune system. In doing so, it weakens the patient's body against many infections that an otherwise healthy immune system can fight off. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. 

Through World AIDS Vaccine Day, efforts are also made to encourage the global community to make active efforts to invest in technologies that can aid in the development of such a vaccine to prevent HIV-AIDS. The day is also used as an opportunity to recognise the efforts of scores of healthcare professionals, scientists and caregivers, who are actively working together on the development of an effective AIDS vaccine. 

History


World AIDS Vaccine Day traces its origin to a speech by former American President Bill Clinton when he was in office. Speaking at the Morgan State University, Maryland on May 18, 1997, Bill Clinton had said that only a “truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine” would actively help control the spread of HIV, ultimately causing the disease to be wiped out. In honour of the president's relevant and powerful speech demanding more efforts to find a vaccine for HIV, the following year, the day was commemorated as the first World AIDS Vaccine Day or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. 

Significance


World AIDS Vaccine Day continues to hold significant value as millions across the world battle the disease even today. According to a 2021 World Health Organisation report, HIV has claimed as many as 36.3 million lives so far. Since it has discovered in 1983, it has 79.3 million people have been infected with the virus.

By 2020, of the 37.7 million people living with HIV, it was noted that 1.7 million were children below the age of 15 years. In the same year, as many as 6,80,000 people died due to AIDS-related illnesses.

In such a situation, finding a vaccine is of paramount importance.  Presently, those battling HIV diseases are treated with a combination of three or more antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. 


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