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Bangladesh, as elsewhere in the world, observed World AIDS Day with the theme “Know Your Status” on Friday. Every year, the day gives us the opportunity to unite in the battle against HIV and show our support for people living with the deadly disease.
Over the years, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment. We have laws and regulations globally to protect people living with HIV but still there are stigmas associated with AIDS which poses a number of negative impacts on those who live with the virus. Social stigma is one of the major factors that stop people from getting an HIV test. Unfortunately, the fear and stigma of being diagnosed with HIV even prevent many people from getting an HIV test. But this irresponsible attitude can only worsen the condition, especially if one has afflicted to the virus but is not aware of one’s HIV status. Knowing HIV status can help us stay safe. It might be difficult for us to accept that HIV positive status, but testing can help us take steps to protect our health as well as lower the risk of transmitting the virus. However, despite this, many people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others.
As the risks of AIDS are still prevailing in the country, there is a need for maintaining the conventional, religious, social and family discipline to control or prevent the HIV. In this regard, NGOs and development agencies alongside the government 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.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and governments of the fact that HIV has not gone away. It is good to note that Bangladesh is committed to bring down the rate of HIV to zero percent by the year 2030. We hope, through the concerted efforts from the part of the authorities concerned including NGOs, civil society and government intuitions, Bangladesh will successfully wipe out the disease within the stipulated time. We believe Bangladesh can be free from HIV through increasing awareness, stopping drug abuse, and ensuring proper treatment. Also to win the battle against HIV, there is a need for more financial support for further research and education.