It will be the twentieth year running when on the third Sunday of May the world community commemorates the International Memorial Day of People Who Died from AIDS. AIDS pandemic took lives of about 25 million people, including nearly 2 million children. Almost 42 million people in the world are HIV-positive. b_94_99_16777215_00_images_content_news_698.jpg It will be the twentieth year running when on the third Sunday of May the world community commemorates the International Memorial Day of People Who Died from AIDS. AIDS pandemic took lives of about 25 million people, including nearly 2 million children. Almost 42 million people in the world are HIV-positive.
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It will be the twentieth year running when on the third Sunday of May the world community commemorates the International Memorial Day of People Who Died from AIDS. AIDS pandemic took lives of about 25 million people, including nearly 2 million children. Almost 42 million people in the world are HIV-positive.

The First International Memorial Day of People Who Died from AIDS was commemorated by a small group of Americans that gathered in San-Francisco in 1983 in honor to AIDS victims they knew and loved.

Today HIV/AIDS brings suffering not only to separate individual or families. The epidemic influences the social and economic situation in different countries to the great extent. Almost 7 thousand young people in the age of 10 to 24 become infected every day. Every minute HIV strikes 6 young people.

Ukraine is among the European countries with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS spread. 91,137 HIV-positive people are officially registered in Ukraine. 13,884 of them already have AIDS (terminal stage of HIV-infection) and 7,895 have already died. Every month more than 1500 new infection cases emerge through the network of specialized treatment and prevention organizations, 55 people become HIV-infected every day, 9 – die from AIDS.

AIDS transmission routes have recently changed as well. Lately HIV/AIDS is spread through blood among IDUs, through sexual intercourse and through mother-to-child transmission. The majority of infected in Ukraine are the young people in the age of 20 to 39.

Regardless of high level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission in Ukrainian society the level of tolerance to HIV-positive people remains rather low. Negative stereotypes (AIDS is associated with drug and alcohol abuse) still have negative impact upon attitude towards HIV-infected. This creates major problems because it actually brings HIV-positive people to isolation from social life. During last years in Ukraine more and more people unite in associations where they can find support, understanding, help, and with the help of which they can success in struggle for own rights. If there was less discrimination and more tolerance to people, living with HIV/AIDS, they would feel themselves as normal citizens, needed by their country, and then the society would be strong.

Millions of people in different countries and continents wear red ribbon on their chests as a symbol of awareness about HIV/AIDS problems and their importance. The red ribbon is not just a loop of red fabric; it is a symbol of many meanings. It is not only a symbol of commemoration of people who died from AIDS. It is a symbol of protest against lack of knowledge and against discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS. A ribbon of the color of blood became an essential element of emblems of all organizations and associations that are engaged in HIV treatment and prevention and defend the rights of people, living with AIDS.

Prepared by the UNDP Governance of HIV/AIDS Project