Catalonia commemorated World AIDS Day yesterday with the unfurling of colourful tapestries from a government building balcony in Barcelona’s Sant Jaume square. At the same time, an institutional event took place in the headquarters of the Catalan government, which is located in the square in the centre of the city. Taking part in the commemoration event was vice president and treasury minister, Pere Aragonès, as well as the head of the health department, Joan Guix.
After the event, a number of activities took place organised by the Comitè 1 Desembre, the NGO working for the eradication of the disease in Catalonia.
World AIDS Day, aimed at raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic, has taken place internationally since 1988. It is estimated that the disease has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, while some 36.7 million people are believed to be living with HIV, which is the infection that causes the disease.
In Catalonia, there are 31,334 people with HIV, according to the health department, with 578 people diagnosed with AIDS in 2017. The number of cases has gone down in recent years, which the authorities attribute to better access to effective treatment.
The current rate of HIV infection is 8.1 cases out of every 100,000 inhabitants, with men accounting for 86% of all cases.