— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) December 1, 2021
Every year, World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1. This day is celebrated not only to spread awareness about the disease but also to remind the people and the governments that HIV has not gone away…
This year the theme of the day is “End Inequalities, End AIDS”, highlighting the fact that as much as the virus itself, the social stigma attached with it also greatly affects people.
Most of us can remember when it seemed like the mysterious ‘gay plague’ would be the global pandemic to decimate humanity. Now — in the developed world, at least — it’s a chronic illness to be lived with. Progress made, and with enough effort more progress to come:
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) December 1, 2021
… “We can do this,” Biden said at a White House ceremony. “We can eliminate HIV transmission. We can get the epidemic under control here in the United States, in countries around the world. We have the scientific understanding, we have treatments, and we have the tools we need.”
More than 700,000 people have died of AIDS-related illnesses in the country since the epidemic began more than 40 years ago. The number globally tops 36 million people. About 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States. The number nears 38 million people worldwide.
The president spoke at the event of the progress made in the fight against AIDS — one he has observed from the earliest days of the illness as a member of Congress.
“I can recall — if you excuse the point of personal privilege — being, I think, in this very room when a senator, who is deceased now, so I don’t want to mention his name, because he can’t defend himself, but standing up and saying, along with another guy named Jerry Falwell, this is God’s punishment, paraphrase God’s punishment,” Biden said. “Finally, think how much has changed.”
Biden said his administration has taken specific steps to address the AIDS crisis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He has reestablished the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, which will be at the forefront of developing a strategy to end the AIDS epidemic.
Separately, the Department of Health and Human Services has directed $2.21 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding to HIV primary medical care, medication and essential support services.
And in 2022, the United States will release a new five-year strategy for PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
“We’re going to engage in people with lived experience with HIV and ensure that our efforts are appropriate and effective and centered around the needs of the HIV community, not us,” the president added…
There is still misinformation circulating about HIV
Here's what you need to knowhttps://t.co/11SsH0tO2T
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 1, 2021
… While HIV is no longer a death sentence and people with the virus can live normal and healthy lives, some campaigners say perceptions have flipped too far the other way.
“There’s been amazing advances in HIV treatment and prevention tools but this perception that Aids is over, in terms of prevention work – it’s not terribly helpful, and certainly in terms of investing in the search for an HIV cure,” Dr Kamarulzaman says.
UN figures suggest in 2020, about 38 million people worldwide were living with HIV and 700,000 died from Aids-related illnesses, which can be the result of the virus going untreated…