Dr. Lauren O'Byrne
World AIDS Day
Beginning in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. World AIDS Day takes place on December 1 each year. Worldwide, people unite in the fight against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), show support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died from an Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) related illness.
Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have HIV. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.
Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment. There are laws to protect people living with HIV and we have effective medical treatment.
The current recommendation is for everyone ages 15-65 to get at least one lifetime HIV test. This is one of the many tests we make available to our members at Spry.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away despite our medical advances. There is still a need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education.