Bangladesh observed World AIDS Day on Wednesday to create awareness about this life-threatening disease. World Aids Day is celebrated every year on December 1 to raise awareness about the deadly disease caused by the spread of HIV infection and to mourn those who lost their lives to it. Although the world has made significant progress in recent decades, still HIV remains a major public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. According to global HIV and AIDS statistics, 34 million people globally are living with HIV and 35 million people have so far died of AIDS.
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People living with HIV/AIDS face stigma and discrimination in the countries of Asia including Bangladesh. Social stigma is one of the major factors that stop people from getting HIV test. It needs no emphasising that over the years, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment. On top of that, there are laws and regulations globally to protect people living with HIV. But what is disheartening is that hitherto there are stigmas associated with AIDS which poses grave impacts on those living with the virus. It is difficult for us to accept HIV positive status, but testing can help us take necessary steps to protect our health as well as lower the risk of transmitting the virus.
Bangladesh is committed to
bringing down the rate of HIV to
zero percent by the year 2030
As the risks of AIDS are still prevailing in Asia including Bangladesh, there is a need for maintaining the conventional, religious, social and family discipline to control or prevent the deadly disease. In this regard, authorities concerned including NGOs and development agencies should deploy more campaigning projects in order to increase awareness among the people so that they can break the social stigmas and change their perception towards the disease.
According to the National AIDS/STD Control Programme (NASP) data of 2020, the total number of HIV cases in the country was 8,032; out of them, 1,383 people died. Among the deceased, new HIV positive and death cases were 658 and 141, respectively in 2020.
Bangladesh is committed to bringing down the rate of HIV to zero percent by the year 2030. In this regard, we need to provide comprehensive support to HIV patients. We hope, Bangladesh can be free from HIV through increasing awareness, ensuring proper treatment and stopping drug abuse. Last but not least, in order to win the battle against HIV, there is a need for more financial support for further research and education.