World AIDS Day (1 December)
“On this World AIDS Day, I call on world leaders to unite in our common cause. We have started to turn the tide. We have set a bold target. Let us end AIDS together by 2030.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
World AIDS Day is celebrated around the world on December 1st each year since 1988. It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.
Why it is important
- in 2013, there were 35 million people living with HIV
- since the start of the epidemic around 78 million have become infected with HIV and 39 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses
- 38% of all adults living with HIV are receiving treatment however just 24% of all children living with HIV are receiving the lifesaving medicines
How UN observes this day
UNAIDS took the lead on campaigning for World AIDS Day from its creation until 2004. From 2004 onwards the World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee began selecting a theme for World AIDS Day in consultation with civil society, organizations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response.
Themes run for one or two years and are not just specific to World AIDS Day. Campaigning slogans such as ‘Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise’ have been used year-round to hold governments accountable for their HIV and AIDS related commitments.