National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day is celebrated on April 10 every year. This day aims at raising awareness, generating conversations, and spotlighting the work being done to reduce HIV and AIDS among young people. This is a very important day to remember because HIV/AIDS among youth is a bigger problem than many believe it to be, according to the most recent HIV statistics. It is therefore critical to promote young voices and peer-to-peer education as powerful weapons in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. This is not just a government obligation, we all have our role to play in creating awareness and saving lives.
History of National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day
It is believed that HIV originally came from a virus particular to chimpanzees in West Africa during the 1930s. It was originally transmitted to humans through the transfer of blood. Over the decades, the virus spread through Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world. Until the 1980s, it was not known how many people were infected with HIV or developed AIDS. The problem was that HIV was not discovered and its transmission was not accompanied by noticeable signs or symptoms.
Rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses were being reported to doctors in the early 1980s and, it was then that the world became aware of HIV and AIDS. Nowadays, the virus has spread all over the world and approximately 38 million people are currently living with HIV. Moreover, since the beginning of the epidemic, tens of millions of people have died of AIDS-related causes.
In 1996, researcher Dr. Mark Wainberg contributed to the development of a drug being used to treat HIV, called ‘3TC.’ This was a combination drug therapy, which brought about an immediate decline of between 60% — 80% in rates of AIDS-related deaths and hospitalization. The problem was that not many patients could afford it. It was not until 2000 that the “UNAIDS” negotiated with five pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of HIV medication for developing countries. The truth is that the problem with this disease has not yet ended. National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people. The purpose is to highlight the HIV prevention, treatment, and care campaigns for young people in the U.S.
National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day timeline
Initially, the disease is called ‘Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID)’ because it is thought it only affects gay men.
It is discovered that women can also be infected through heterosexual sex.
December 1 is set aside as the day to mark World AIDS Day.
The first patient — Timothy Ray — is cured of HIV after four years of treatment.
National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day FAQs
How can we create awareness about HIV and AIDS in our community?
Through social media, newspapers, radio, magazines, and talks in different contexts. You can ask for space to run a talk show or advice column on HIV and AIDS.
How can we celebrate National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day?
Show solidarity with the people living with HIV. Most people wear an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day.
How can I help a person living with HIV?
Talk with the person. Be always available to have open, honest conversations about HIV.
How to Observe National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day
Raise awareness among young people
Provide and share information about this disease among your friends, relatives, and family. This will assist them in learning about the proper precautions to take to prevent HIV/AIDS.
Learn all about HIV/AIDS
Educate yourself about HIV. Today, there are a lot of people living with HIV who have the virus under control.
Help someone with HIV
If someone has disclosed their HIV status to you, encourage treatment. They need to take their HIV medication every day, exactly as prescribed.
5 Basics Facts Of HIV Prevention
Get tested regurlarly
Get tested regularly, if you have a partner, talk to them and get tested before you have sex.
Practice safe sex
Using condoms is the only way to prevent HIV during sexual relations.
Do not inject drugs
Or if you do, be sure you use your needles, syringes, or other drug equipment.
Take care of others
If you have HIV, do not intentionally pass on the virus to other people.
Download HIV prevention materials
Be aware of this disease and all relevant information to prevent it.
Why National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day is Important
A day to raise awareness
It is a day to raise awareness among young people. Increased awareness of effective HIV prevention techniques causes youngsters to be more cautious, ultimately lowering infection rates.
A day to learn relevant information
HIV education is key to creating awareness. It helps individuals not only develop and maintain safer behaviors but also helps reduce stigma and discrimination against those afflicted by and living with HIV.
It is a good opportunity to listen
Being diagnosed with this disease is life-changing news. Listen to the people you love and offer your support.
National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day dates