Dr Asif Channer
World AIDS Day was first declared by the World Health Organization and the United Nations General Assembly in 1988. It is recalled on December 01, every year and is dedicated to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of disease. The word AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficient Syndrome because this disease is acquired, not inherited, it weakens Immune system, creates a Deficiency of CD4 cells in immune system and it is a syndrome which means a group of illnesses taking place at the same time.
The causative agent is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).Two most common types of HIV exist, HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is more virulent, is more easily transmitted and is the cause of the vast majority of HIV infections globally. The first case of HIV infection in a human was identified in 1959. The infected individual lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He did not know and research could not identify how he was infected.
In Pakistan first case was recorded in 1987.The statistics of National AIDS Control Program Pakistan (NACP) reflect that there are 76000 to 1250000 estimated people with HIV across the country but only 17224 are registered and 8133 are receiving treatment. There is high prevalence of AIDS in Sind as compared to other Provinces of Pakistan. HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far. In 2015, about 1.1 million people died from HIV-related causes globally.