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Fighting AIDS Is More Than Red Ribbons

A poster by the Iranian Health Ministry for World AIDS Day
By Frida
Zeinali
Junior
Reporter
TABRIZ,
Iran –
Today, on
World AIDS Day, we will see a lot of red ribbons.
But the
truth is that the terrible disease AIDS will not end only with ribbons.
AIDS
education is also a battle against ignorance. We all need to stand beside each
other to work toward the United Nations goal of eliminating AIDS by 2030.
Today is
the day. It is time to rise, act and protect.
Medical
professionals first found AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, in the
United States in 1981. The disease remains a top global health threat,
especially in poor countries.
Despite
large scale medical advances, including drugs to prevent and treat the disease,
there is still a long way to go in the fight against AIDS.
According
to UNAIDS, there were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV at the
end of 2014. The numbers are huge, but the problem is even bigger.
AIDS is the
second leading cause of death among adolescents after road accidents, according
to the World Health Organization.
Currently,
though scientists are working towards one, there is no effective vaccine for
AIDS. This is why awareness and prevention are two key factors in avoiding the
infection.
World
AIDS Day, which began in 1988, aims to connect people around the world globally
with the mission of destroying or at least minimizing the damage caused by the
disease. This year’s theme, announced by UN, is “Getting to zero; End AIDS by
2030.”
The day
is also an opportunity to show support and solidarity for the fight against
AIDS. Countries all over the world organize rallies, public seminars, social
campaigns and different activities in order to raise attention for further
prevention of AIDS.
World
AIDS Day is also devoted to mourning those who lost their lives to the disease.
After 27
years, there is some progress.
In a report
released in July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world has the
knowledge and tools to end the AIDS epidemic within 15 years. The world now
spends $19 billion a year dealing with AIDS, he said, and almost twice that
will be needed to meet the goal.
According
to information released by UNAIDS, new HIV infections have fallen 38 percent
since 2001 and the number of AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 35 percent
since peaking in 2005.
Reaching
young people is still an important and critical goal, as they remain at risk. 
Unless
we are careful, we all carry the
potential risk of becoming an AIDS patient one day.
So every step taken today is taken for
tomorrow
.
***
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