Each year, World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December 1 as a way to bring together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care around the world. It has become one of the most widely recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have died, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

In 2017, 17,803 people in the U.S. and 6 dependent areas received a stage 3 (AIDS) diagnosis. In 2016, there were 15,807 deaths among people with diagnosed HIV in the United States.

The theme for the 2019 observance is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community”.

World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988, the first ever global health day. Each year, organizations and individuals across the world bring attention to the HIV epidemic, endeavor to increase HIV awareness and knowledge, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.

Since World AIDS Day was first observed more than 30 years ago, progress to prevent and treat HIV has been extraordinary. HIV medicines are available to help people with HIV live long, healthy lives and prevent HIV transmission, according to the U. .S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, effective HIV prevention methods, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), are available.

The set-aside day is observed with a red ribbon. The red ribbon, as an awareness ribbon, is used as the symbol for the solidarity of people living with HIV/AIDS, and for the awareness and prevention of drug abuse and drunk driving.

AIDSinfo health information specialists are available to answer your HIV-related questions and help you find information on the AIDSinfo and infoSIDA websites. Call 1-800-448-0440 for assistance in English or Spanish.

Image Sources

  • World AIDS Day: Shuttersstock