Importance of May 18: Worlds AIDS Vaccine Day; International Museum Day


Important Days form a major chunk of static GK questions in all government exams. Static GK is covered in most exams like RBI Grade B, SEBI Grade A, Bank PO, and many more. There are numerous important days in  May that have a worldwide significance. Do you know that May 18 is celebrated as World AIDS Vaccine Day and International Museum Day?

World Aids Vaccine Day

AIDS and HIV are a constant health concern in our society. There is currently no vaccine available to stop the spread of this deadly infection. Thus a day was designated as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, or World Aids Vaccine Day in 1997 to raise awareness for the immediate need of a vaccine. It is celebrated every year on May 18. This day not only raises awareness for the need of a vaccine but  also honors those who work for it. On this poignant day, all those who assist infected people are praised for their work.

History and Significance

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) commemorates World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Virus Awareness Day. The idea for this day came from a speech given by the then-US President Bill Clinton on May 18, 1997. Given the advancement in science and technology, he wanted to set new targets for creating a vaccine over the next decade.

According to Wikipedia, he stated-, “Only a truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine can limit and eventually eliminate the threat of AIDS”.

To mark the first anniversary of Clinton’s address, the first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed in 1998. 

It is essential that more efforts should be made to accelerate the production of AIDS vaccine. The aim is to develop a potential vaccine that will improve people’s immunity to HIV. Every year on this day, people all over the world participate in a number of events to raise awareness about vaccination, prevention, and community education.

Harsh Reality

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 37.9 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2018, with approximately 770 000 people dying from HIV-related illnesses. According to WHO statistics, 75 million people have been infected with HIV since the epidemic began, with approximately 32 million people dying from the virus. Despite several trials of potential vaccines, a safe and effective preventive vaccine is still unavailable, which is important to end the HIV pandemic.

Celebrations in 2021

World AIDS Vaccine Day is usually commemorated by events held all over the world. However, no meetings can take place due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Interaction with other scientists and healthcare professionals will be done through video conferencing.

International Museum Day 2021

IMD or International Museum Day is a worldwide celebration that takes place every year on May 18. This event is organised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The event often focuses on a different theme each year that is at the core of the international museum community’s concerns. The International Museum Day provides an opportunity for museum professionals to meet and educate the public about the problems that museums face.

A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution that serves society’s growth. It is accessible to the public for the purpose of acquiring, conserving, researching, communicating, and exhibiting human’s visible and invisible history as well as its environment, for recreation, study, and education. As a result, IMD serves as a forum for raising public consciousness about the role museums play in society today, on a global scale.

International Museum Day: Theme 2021

International Museum Day 2021 will be celebrated with the theme “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine.” The day will invite museums, their professionals, and their communities to develop, visualise, and share new practices of (co-)creation of value.

History and Significance

International Museum Day has been celebrated by ICOM every year since 1977. It represents a unique moment for the international museum community. IMD was first observed 40 years ago.

International Museum Day (IMD) aims to raise awareness about how “Museums are an essential means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures, and growth of mutual understanding, collaboration, and peace among peoples.” 

The events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend, or an entire week. 

More and more museums around the world are participating in International Museum Day. In 2020, over 37,000 museums from 158 countries and territories took part in the campaign.

Famous museums around the world

  • British Museum, London 
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York 
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam 
  • Museo Larco, Lima
  • The Acropolis Museum, Athens 

Why is it important? 

Museums exist to keep history alive. A museum visit is like travelling back in time, seeing things as they were thousands of years ago and learning about various races and cultures.

They’re a place where cultures collide, and that collision has a positive effect on modern society. Witnessing the rich histories of various countries, races, and religions aids in cultural awareness and cooperation. These carefully selected stories and artifacts heighten our consciousness, allowing us to be more accepting of others.

If we are to move toward the caring and understanding world that we all desire, we must preserve and appreciate history. It’s important to acknowledge the significant place that museums play in this, while also considering how they can improve.

Also Read:

Happy International Day of Families: 2021

May 12: International Nurses Day and Other Important Events

May 7: Historical Important Events of May 7

All You Need To Know About National Technology Day

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