World AIDS Day was first observed 25 years ago. Since then, arguably the peak of the pandemic, great inroads have been made in both the treatment of and attitude towards the plague of the late 20th century.
In recent years, China and the USA have each lifted travel bans on those afflicted with HIV, ‘treatment as prevention’ has been declared a major scientific breakthrough, and a growing number of sufferers have been completely cured.
Where previous World AIDS Days had themes like ‘Community Commitment’ and ‘Stigma and Discrimination,’ this year’s theme, like the two before it and two to follow, offers three powerful words: Getting to Zero.
That’s where we’re at. And whilst there’s still much to do, mankind has already eradicated plagues of even greater proportions, including Smallpox in 1979.
HIV and AIDS are tricky; it uses our own immune system against us, and is constantly adapting. But World AIDS Day helps to change the narrative, and look towards a future free from the disease.
This week’s Scoop belongs to CNN. Their infographics about the disease and its day, equipped with a timeline, map and fact-file, are a snapshot of the advent of a world without AIDS.