World AIDS Day was founded by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter in 1987 and they agreed that the first observance should be on December 1. Bunn was a broadcast journalist and Netter was a frequent contributor to the New York Times in the 1980’s. They were the first public information officers of the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS. Their work drew attention to the AIDS pandemic, helped alleviate some of the stigma, and helped underscore the threat of HIV to people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. World AIDS Day has been commemorated on December 1 since 1988, making 2018 its 30th anniversary.
On this day, we remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses. According to UNAIDS, we have lost 35.4 million people since the start of the pandemic and we lost 940,000 people due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. Let us remember, light a candle, say their names.
December 1 is World AIDS Day. This is a day to raise awareness about HIV, to stand in solidarity with those living with HIV, to remember loved ones we have lost to HIV, and to work together to end HIV around the world.
We commemorate World AIDS Day 2016 by standing in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV. And, we remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported in the early 1980’s.
In spite of the progress that has been made against HIV over the past 15 years with the availability of proven prevention and treatment methods, the annual number of new HIV infections among adults has remained static at an estimated 1.9 million a year since 2010. Moreover, there has been resurgence of new HIV infections among key populations in some parts of the world. Read more
Since 1988, December 1st has been World AIDS Day. This is a day to raise awareness about HIV, to stand in solidarity with those living with HIV, to remember loved ones we have lost to HIV, and to work together to end HIV around the world. The international theme for World AIDS Day 2015 is “Getting to Zero” which means working toward the dream of an AIDS-free generation.
Stigma and discrimination must be eliminated in the work to reduce infections, to improve access to healthcare and to open paths for advocacy. Populations at risk to HIV include LGBT persons, men who have sex with men, women living in poverty and sex workers.
2.79 billion people live in countries that criminalize homosexuality. Criminalization of one’s personhood, sexuality or gender expression makes one more vulnerable to HIV infection and less likely to receive adequate, even life-saving healthcare. Read more