Today is World AIDS Day, and like every year it will be observed across the country in line with the health safety regulations as elsewhere in the globe.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is ‘Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility’.
The day has been observed since 1988 to create mass awareness against AIDS across the world. According to the UN declaration, the involvement of people from all walks of life is very important to eradicate AIDS from Bangladesh by 2030.
According to the Global HIV and AIDS statistics — 2020 fact sheet by UNAIDS, 38 million people globally were living with HIV in 2019 and 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV last year.
Around 690, 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2019.
According to different statistics of national and international organisations, currently around 13,000 HIV patients are living in the country. Of the total number, 6,606 have so far been brought under treatment.
Health and family welfare ministry will organise a seminar and exhibition at Shilpakala Academy at 12:00pm today, and health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque will address the programme as chief guest.
President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day wishing all-out success of the programmes marking the day.
The president, in his message, said, ‘AIDS is a deadly disease, although the rate of HIV infection is low among the general population in Bangladesh, the risk of AIDS is high due to geographical location, unawareness, uncontrolled behavior of at-risk populations, prejudices and misconceptions.’
Therefore, in addition to remedies, it is necessary to create awareness in the prevention of AIDS, remove prejudices and take effective steps to change behavior, he said.
‘Although no antidote to AIDS has yet been discovered, there are currently advanced treatments. The conventional treatment of this disease is very expensive and the treatment has to be continued till death,’ he further said.
Therefore, he expressed his optimism to all the concerned organisations to continue their concerted efforts to ensure the availability of accessible and quality medical services to the people living with AIDS.
‘The government, through the Department of Health, has been providing free medicine to AIDS sufferers since 2012 and conducting social health care activities to prevent AIDS,’ he said.
The prime minister, in her message, said, ‘Our government is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on HIV / AIDS, which aims to eradicate AIDS from the country by 2030 and if we all work together, we will be able to achieve it.’
‘We have taken groundbreaking steps to ensure health care for every person living with HIV / AIDS, as a result, HIV detection tests are being carried out under full government management and supervision and free AIDS treatment and medicines are being provided to the infected people,’ said the prime minister.
‘So far, the HIV infection rate in Bangladesh is below 0.01 per cent’, she said urging all to play a more effective role in bringing down this rate to zero and preventing all forms of discrimination against AIDS sufferers.
‘My hope is to build the “golden Bangladesh”, the dream of the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through the implementation of “Vision-2021 and 2041” in the health sector through the joint efforts of all,’ she said.
Both of them wished the success of the day.
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