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World AIDS Vaccine Day 2023 – May 18

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World AIDS Vaccine Day - May 18 2023World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Knowledge Day(HVAD), is annually observed across the globe on 18th May to create awareness about the importance of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccinations in preventing Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV infections.

  • The observance of HVAD also recognizes the volunteers, community members, and researchers working to find a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV.

Red Ribbon: 

The red ribbon is the internationally recognized symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV.


i.The idea of the observance of the World AIDS Vaccine Day was proposed by the then United States of America’s President Bill Clinton.

ii.The observance was inspired by his commencement speech at the Morgan State University in 1997 when he emphasised on the importance of vaccination in eradicating HIV.

iii.The first ever World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on 18th May 1998.

HIV and AIDS: 

i.HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS, a chronic immune system disease.

ii.HIV can be spread through contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.

iii.There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medications can control the infection and prevent disease progression.

Discovery of HIV:

i.French virologists, Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi discovered the HIV that causes AIDS in 1983.

ii.They received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of HIV.

  • They shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Harald Zur Hausen, who discovered the viral cause of cervical cancer that led to its development.

HIV Vaccine: 

i.At present there are no vaccine available that will prevent HIV infection.

ii.There are numerous scientific challenges to developing an HIV vaccine. Since the virus itself integrates into host DNA(Deoxyribonucleic acid), it limits the vaccine platforms that can be used.

iii.The difficulties are due to the HIV’s unusual characteristics such as rapid replication, furious mutation, immune system evasion, and creation of viral reservoirs.