World AIDS Day


World AIDS Day is a day to remember, hope, and act. Anne Muir and Adam Navis tell about the history and purpose of this day.

Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Anne Muir

Voice 2  

And I’m Adam Navis. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

It is December first. A woman is going to work. Before she leaves her house, she attaches something to her shirt. It is a red cloth ribbon. On the street, the woman passes a man. He is also wearing a red ribbon on his shirt. Their red ribbons both mark the same event. Today’s Spotlight is on this event, World AIDS Day, remembered every year on December first.

Voice 2  

HIV/AIDS is a deadly disease. It affects almost 37 million people around the world. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system in the human body. This is the system that defends a body from infections. HIV will destroy a person’s whole immune system if they do not treat it. Then the person can easily get other infections and diseases. AIDS is the set of illnesses that develop after HIV has destroyed the immune system. People who do not have treatment for HIV will die from AIDS. The HIV virus also spreads quickly. It passes from one person to another through some bodily fluids.

Voice 1  

HIV/AIDS has been a major world problem since the 1980s. The United Nations says that since that time, about 35 million people have died of HIV/AIDS. HIV used to be untreatable. But the global situation has changed. There are more resources now. There are drugs that people with HIV can take to live much longer.

Voice 2  

Part of that progress is because of people working to educate the world about HIV and AIDS. One of those efforts is World AIDS Day. The first World AIDS Day was organized by the World Health Organization in 1988. It was held on December 1st. Over 140 countries had events for that first World AIDS Day. Since then, people celebrate it every year.

Voice 1  

World AIDS Day celebrations honour people who have died of HIV/AIDS and people who have worked to fight the disease. People all around the world hold World AIDS Day events such as fundraisers, dinners, or candle lighting ceremonies. They often raise money for HIV/AIDS organizations and research. Many people wear red clothing or red ribbons on this day. This is a symbol of support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Voice 2  

Each year usually has a theme. For example, in 2016 the theme was “Hands Up for HIV Prevention.” The United Nations also made a goal in 2016. The goal is to end HIV/AIDS by the year 2030.

Voice 1  

Most importantly, World AIDS Day educates people about HIV/AIDS. People still have many wrong ideas about the disease. Or they lack the correct knowledge about it. People are less likely to get or spread HIV/AIDS if they know the scientific facts.

Voice 2  

Knowing facts also has another important result. Knowing facts reduces stigma. Stigma is the shame people connect with a situation, quality, or person. Stigma around HIV/AIDS stops people from talking about it. It may also make people judge, or even mistreat, people living with HIV/AIDS. Doctors may give worse care, or no care at all, to people with HIV because of the stigma. Or people who have HIV do not want treatment because they do not want anyone to know they have it. Maria Mejia is an HIV/AIDS activist from Colombia. She has HIV. She explains the effects of stigma to the news organization NPR:

Voice 3  

“A lot of people feel care when a person has cancer. This is rightfully so; cancer is a horrible disease. But I feel like I could not tell people 'I have HIV' and get that same care. Instead a quick judgment came with that. That made me angry. I could not say I had HIV and not feel judged or feel like the worst thing in the world. Did I deserve HIV? I do not think anyone deserves it. None of us asked for this."

Voice 1  

HIV/AIDS continues to be one of the most widespread diseases in the world. There is currently no cure for HIV. But World AIDS Day helps people to see that positive change happening. Many more people can get life-saving medication. Some areas of the world, like Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe, have reduced their rates of HIV infection by up to 40% since 2010.

Voice 2  

But World AIDS Day also reminds people that more needs to be done. The organization UNAIDS reports that over 17 million people with HIV are not able to get the medicine they need. And 30 percent of people living with HIV do not even know their HIV status.

Voice 1  

One way to improve these numbers is by testing for the virus. If people with HIV find out earlier that they have the virus they can get treatment faster. Then they have a higher chance of staying healthy. But getting tested can be expensive and difficult.

Voice 2  

Another thing that can be done is to reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS. It can be difficult to talk about HIV/AIDS. People with the disease often feel shame. But if people talk about it more, the stigma may begin to go away. Mary Bowman of the United States is an AIDS activist. When she was nine or 10 years old, she discovered she was born HIV positive. Bowman told NPR that people treated her differently when they knew she was HIV positive. She wished she had never told them.

Voice 1  

HIV/AIDS is also a larger problem for some groups of people than others. People with less money and power are more likely to get the disease. They are less likely to get testing and have healthcare. People may be at risk of stigma and discrimination because of their race, age, sex, or something else. World AIDS Day shows support and togetherness with people who may feel they are alone.

Voice 2  

The future of HIV/AIDS is changing. But there is still a lot of work to do. On World AIDS Day, people remember those who have died of HIV/AIDS. They hope that HIV infections will continue to decrease. And they come together to act to support people who are living with HIV/AIDS. As Mary Bowman reminds us:

Voice 4  

"All of those babies who doctors thought were going to die from HIV/AIDS - we are adults now. We need help, we need health insurance, and we need mental health services."

Voice 1  

Does your country celebrate World AIDS Day? Do people wear red ribbons? Tell us about it, and find a link to this year’s theme on our website. You can also email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on our Facebook page at facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 2  

The writer of this programme was Rena Dam. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can hear this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called ‘World AIDS Day”.

Voice 1  

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

Will you wear a red ribbon for World AIDS Day?

Comments


Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on November 30, 2017

I think that the people afraid from HIV patient cause that HIV is infectious.
Yes, I will wearing a red ribbon tomorrow.
God bless you