World AIDS Vaccine Day is annually celebrated on May 18, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. AIDS vaccine advocates promote the continued urgent requirement for a vaccine to prevent the infection.
While thousands of health professionals, volunteers, community members, supporters, and scientists are working together to find an effective and safe AIDS vaccine, there is an important need to recognize the importance of investing in HIV and AIDS vaccines.
World AIDS Vaccine Day is celebrated to educate people about the disease of AIDS and HIV vaccine. As we know that human immunodeficiency virus or HIV infects cells of the immune system in the body which leads to a life-threatening condition or AIDS. Around 38 million people are suffering from HIV globally. Therefore, it is necessary to educate people about the precautionary measures and misconceptions about the disease.
What is AIDS?
AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, i.e.
Acquired – This condition is acquired if a person becomes infected with a virus.
Immuno – HIV affects the immune system.
Deficiency – The person’s immune system becomes weak and not able to work properly.
Syndrome – It may happen that a person suffering from AIDS may also experience other diseases due to a weak immune system.
In the United States, AIDS was first reported in 1981 and since then has become a worldwide epidemic. AIDS is the most advanced stage of infection that is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Both the names of HIV and AIDS may confuse you as both terms describe the same disease. But a person with HIV positive doesn’t need to have AIDS also.
On 18th May 1997, the World AIDS Vaccine Day concept was rooted, commencement speech that was made by then-President Bill Clinton at Morgan State University. He challenged within the next decade to set a goal in the emerging age of science and technology of an AIDS vaccine.
It was observed on 18th May 1998 in memory of the anniversary of Clinton’s speech, and the tradition continues till today. Each year communities around the world hold events on this Day to raise awareness for AIDS vaccines, educate communities about HIV prevention and research for a vaccine, and to attract how ordinary people can be a part of the international effort to stem the pandemic.
Is AIDS a curable disease?
Currently, there is no safe cure for HIV. It can’t be removed, once HIV enters your body but Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can prevent or reverse the damage to your immune system. Several other drugs can treat or prevent opportunistic infections. It is also seen that Antiretroviral therapy has also reduced the rate of most opportunistic infections. Drugs may help in preventing the infection but it can’t be fully cured.
Let’s know About the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
NIAID provides training opportunities at a broad level to individuals from several educational backgrounds ranging from high school to postdoctoral level. It is also committed to conducting HIV/AIDS research to prevent new infections, end HIV related deaths and complications, and discover a cure.