Every year on May 18, the world celebrates World AIDS Vaccine Day. The day is observed to honour the efforts of hundreds of scientists and medical professionals who are working persistently to develop a vaccine to combat the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The day is also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, with the goal of raising awareness about the importance of HIV vaccinations in preventing HIV infection and AIDS.
The event accomplishes two goals. One, it primarily aims to honour those medical professionals, scientists, and volunteers/supporters who have committed their lives to the development of a viable and safe AIDS vaccine. The other emphasises the significance of vaccination as a barrier against the life-threatening virus.
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History of World AIDS Vaccine Day
The inaugural World AIDS Vaccine Day of was held on May 18, 1998, and was celebrated across the world. The idea for HIV Vaccine Awareness Day came from former US President Bill Clinton’s commencement speech at Morgan State University in 1997.
He stated that vaccination was very necessary to control and destroy the fatal disease. Clinton had underlined the need of maximising the use of science and technology in developing a vaccine that would improve people’s ability to fight HIV and thereby shield the world from the fatal grips of AIDS.
What is HIV?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that targets the body’s immune system. It may be contracted through sharing needles, blood, or unprotected intercourse, and it can even be passed from mother to child during pregnancy. Within a few weeks, flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and exhaustion will appear.
Important Facts About World AIDS Vaccine Day
- At the end of 2019, an estimated 38.0 million individuals were living with HIV.
- HIV testing should be optional, and the freedom to refuse should be respected. Forced testing by any authority is unacceptable since it compromises public health and violates human rights.
- Increased HIV susceptibility is frequently linked to legal and societal issues, which increase exposure to risk scenarios and create hurdles to effective, high-quality, and cheap HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
It is celebrated on 18 May every year.
The full form of AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
It was former US President Bill Clinton’s idea to celebrate World AIDS Vaccine Day.
It may be contracted through sharing needles, blood, or unprotected intercourse, and it can even be passed from mother to child during pregnancy.
The symptoms of HIV are fever, sore throat, and exhaustion.