World AIDS Day
December 1 is World AIDS Day. It is dedicated to make people more aware of the AIDS disease around the world. Celebrities who died of AIDS are remembered on this day. Government officials and celebrities hold speeches and organize special events on this day. World AIDS Day has become the best known health day in the world.
In the past few years AIDS awareness has gone down. People no longer talk about it as much as they had done in previous years. But, still, HIV remains a threat to men and women and children around the world. World AIDS Day is supposed to make sure that we don’t forget AIDS. Politicians must keep it on their agenda , even though there are many other global crises to deal with.
World AIDS Day was first organized by two WHO officials in 1988. Since then it has been held every year with a new topic chosen every few years. The current theme is “Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise”.
AIDS has killed over 25 million people since 1981. About 40 million people around the world are infected with HIV . There are 2.7 million new victims every year. Africa south of the Sahara desert is the region that is most affected by AIDS. Almost 70% of the world’s AIDS victims live here.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body and weakens or destroys it. Then a person is too weak to fight off infections. Up to now modern medicine has not yet come up with a vaccine against AIDS but there is medicine that can slow down the infection. In some cases people can live up to ten years longer with the disease.
The virus can be transmitted in different ways. Couples who have sexual intercourse can get HIV from each other. Drug addicts can pass the virus to those who use the same needle. AIDS can be transmitted by infected blood after transfusions . The virus can also be passed to an unborn baby from its mother.
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- addict = someone who cannot stop taking drugs
- affect = to do something that changes a person’s situation
- agenda =list of problems or topics
- aware = to realize that something exists
- awareness = understanding of a topic
- celebrity = star, famous person
- couple = a man and a woman
- current = right now
- deal with = manage
- dedicate = to give attention to
- destroy = damage completely, so that it does not work any more
- disease = illness
- HIV = virus that enters the body through blood or sexual activity
- immune system = system of your body that protects it from diseases
- infect = to give someone the disease
- official = someone who has a high position in a country
- politician = someone who works in politics or is a member of the government
- previous = earlier
- remain = stay
- sexual intercourse = when two people have sex with each other
- threat = danger
- topic = subject, theme
- transfusion =to put blood from one person into another
- transmit = pass on, spread
- vaccine = medicine that is used to protect people from getting the virus
- victim = someone who suffers from the disease
- weaken = to make weaker
- WHO = World Health Organization