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WADPALO, Leyte - World AIDS day was first observed on December 1, 1988, to raise awareness on the alarming rise Human Immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) among individuals worldwide. It was since then that the world observed annually.

The theme of this years’ World AIDS Day observance is “End inequalities. End AIDS and End Pandemics”, with a special focus on reaching people left behind.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the main agenda this year is to highlight the growing inequalities in access to essential HIV services around the world. It further states that the division, disparity, and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis.

Moreover, WHO also adds that now COVID-19 is exacerbating inequities and disruptions to services, making the lives of many people living with HIV more challenging.

This year, WHO and AIDS organizations are calling on global leaders and citizens to rally to confront these inequalities that drive AIDS and to reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), is a virus that basically attacks cells in the human body that help the body fight infection, thereby making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.

In simple terms, it is a condition that comes when the immune system stops working completely. The virus lives in human blood, sexual fluids, and breast milk and when left untreated, it leads to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex, or through sharing injection drug equipment.

WHO states that around the world, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed 36.3 million lives so far since 1988.
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This yea’s celebration aims to raise awareness about HIV and to commemorate those affected by the disease. December 1 has been marked by WHO as an international day dedicated to AIDS or World AIDS Day. #NPC-CPD