World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day

Basic Information

World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.

Observed on: 1 December

Organized by: UN, WHO

Introduced in: 1988

Observed: Worldwide

About World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is observed annually on 1 December to focus on issues surrounding HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). This Day is observed with an aim to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.

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. The day was first observed on 1 December 1988.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) became operational in 1996, and it took over the planning and promotion of World AIDS Day.  World AIDS Campaign became an independent organization in 2004.

This Day is observed every year with a theme chosen by World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee after extensive consultation with people, organizations and government agencies involved in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). Other days are World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day, and World Hepatitis Day.

The day is observed with an aim to give more knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS. By this knowledge (how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today) one can take care of their own health and the health of others, and ensure to treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding.

Activities and Programs on World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is observed by Governments, health officials, government and non government organizations, institutes, and workers with different programs. Some of the programs include speeches, rallies, meetings, forums, discussions, workshops, etc.

On this day people wear red ribbon which is an international symbol of AIDS awareness to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS as well as to remind others of the need for their support and commitment. The red ribbon is a symbol of awareness, solidarity and a reminder of those we have lost.

A campaign called Getting to Zero was started in the year 2011 focusing on achieving 3 targets: Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

Theme for World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day 2020 Theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact

World AIDS Day 2019 Theme was “Communities make the difference

AIDS Day 2018 Theme was “Know Your Status

2017 Theme: My Health, My Right

2016 Theme: Hands up for #HIVprevention

2015 Theme: On the fast track to end AIDS

2014 Theme: Close the gap

2013 Theme: Zero Discrimination

2012 Theme: Together we will end AIDS

2011 Theme: Getting to Zero

2010 Theme: Universal Access & Human Rights

2009 Theme: Universal Access and Human Rights

2008 Theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Lead – Empower – Deliver

2007 Theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Leadership

2006 Theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Accountability

2005 Theme: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise

2004 Theme: Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS

2002 Theme: Stigma and Discrimination

2001 Theme: I Care. Do you?

2000 Theme: AIDS: Men Make a Difference

1999 Theme: Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People

1998 Theme: Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People

1997 Theme: Children Living in a World with AIDS

1996 Theme: One World. One Hope

1995 Theme: Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities

1994 Theme: AIDS and the Family

1993 Theme: Act

1992 Theme: Community Coomitment

1991 Theme: Sharing the Challenge

1990 Theme: Women and AIDS

1989 Theme: Youth

1988 Theme: Communication

Click here for List of Important Days or UN Observations

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