Bulgaria Marks Global AIDS DayHealth | December 1, 2013, Sunday // 10:55| views
The red ribbon is a symbol of empathy with the sufferers and victims of HIV/AIDS. December 1 marks the World AIDS Day around the world. File photo
Bulgaria will mark the World AIDS Day on Sunday with several campaigns scheduled around the capital Sofia.
World AIDS Day, observed on December 1 every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Government and health officials observe the day, often with speeches or forums on AIDS topics.
Bulgaria’s National Anti-AIDS Informational Campaign has been running for 10 years.
Between 11 AM and 3 PM, near Sofia’s Serdika metro station, volunteers from the Bulgarian Red Cross will inform citizens about the free consultation services and the anonymous HIV/AIDS examinations that are available through mobile testing clinics.
At 6 PM, in front of the National Palace of Culture, volunteers and representative of NGOs will light candles, forming the shape of a ribbon, to commemorate all those who have lost their lives to the infectious disease.
The total number of officially registered HIV/AIDS patients in Bulgaria is 1811. The newly registered cases for 2013 are 181, of which 150 men and 31 women.
World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Program on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Bunn and Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Program on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS). Dr. Mann liked the concept, approved it, and agreed with the recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be 1 December 1988.
Globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.