Calling for more awareness and stringent measures to tackle the menace of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the world on Monday (December 1) observed the 26th World AIDS Day.
The theme for this year is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”
People worldwide stood united in support of thousands of those living with the fatal Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or HIV and also those who fell prey to the deadly disease.
AIDS causing HIV has infected an estimated 34 million people worldwide. More than 35 million people have died from the disease.
In order check the spread of HIV, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged for more investments for the advancement in the medical treatments and researches in this field, especially for children.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said, “We must close the gap, and invest more in reaching every mother, every newborn, every child and every adolescent with HIV prevention and treatment programs that can save and improve their lives.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that both Central Asia and Europe have failed to tackle the HIV epidemic despite major advancement in the treatment and large scale awareness programs.
According to the WHO officials, about 136,000 people in Central Asia and Europe are becoming newly infected with the fatal AIDS causing HIV in 2013.
“Europe has not managed to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target and time is running out. We cannot afford dropping our guard on AIDS-causing HIV,” WHO’s regional director Zsuzsanna Jakab said.
The combined report prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed 80 percent more new cases of HIV in 2013 as compared to the 2004 figures.
The health experts say these figures indicate that we are missing the crucial target of reversing the tide of HIV/AIDS in the region.
Of the total new HIV infections reported in the 53 nations of the WHO’s European region last year, over 105,000 were found in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
HIV, also known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus, defuncts the immune system of the patient, leading to a lifelong illness. As the HIV infection grows, it destroys the immune system completely and the end-stage is the development of the deadly Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The fatal virus spread through the sexual transmission, blood transfusion and breast feeding.