Some of us may or may not know but on the 1st of December each year, it is World Aids Day. It is a day used to educate, inform and spread awareness on the continued fight against HIV/AIDS and to remember those who lost their lives to the virus.
South Africa is one of the countries with the biggest HIV epidemic in the world with over 7,7 million people who live with HIV. Globally there are about an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Although the virus has been long identified in 1984, there has been a lot of deaths related to the virus making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history before COVID-19.
Despite HIV/AIDS being identified for so long and through all the education at school and on television, there are still people who are discriminated against, and the virus is still stigmatized. People always look at HIV/Aids and think, well-unprotected intercourse is the cause of all of this, which to a certain extent, is true but, we also disregard all the other causes of the virus by focusing on one. The children born with the virus, those in the medical field who get the virus through an accident in the field and, those who get it through some form of blood transmission.
There has been a lot of scientific advancements that have helped those people, and, through the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been reported on CNN that they are continuously looking for the ultimate cure for the virus, which we hope comes in to play very soon. The advancements that we have now help those affected and infected to have a low CD count and to protect their loved ones from being infected. We all can do our research on the Prep Aids drug and educate ourselves as well as take it to reduce the chances of being infected with HIV/AIDS.
Some of us may ask what we can do to spread awareness on the day. Well, it is as easy as:
- Following the hashtags of the day and sharing them on your timelines (#worldaidsday).
- Donate to the organisations that help people who are affected and infected more specifically, children.
- Wear red ribbons on the day to show your support.
- Support the brands and products that give donations to Non-profit organisations on this day.
- Go get tested to know your status.
Okay but how about when the day is over, then what?
World Aids Day may only occur once a year but that shouldn’t stop you from showing your support. You can keep up to date with news of the scientific advancements and keep your support by doing the things mentioned above.
Spreading awareness is not a once-in-a-year thing, it is an everyday thing.