WHAT IS WORLD AIDS DAY?
World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
WHY IS WORLD AIDS DAY IMPORTANT?
Over 101,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK around 5,000 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ON WORLD AIDS DAY?
World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. You can order a red ribbon through our online shop, or pick one up in a MAC Cosmetics shop and selected branches of Morrisons.
You can also order a free pack of 100 ribbons to fundraise for the National AIDS Trust. World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to raise money for NAT, which will help to champion the rights of people living with HIV in the UK. Visit our fundraising pages for ideas, or contact someone in the fundraising team for more information.
You can list your World AIDS Day event on our events page. Or, if you can’t host your own event, you can find out how to attend an event near you.
BUT WHAT ABOUT AFTER WORLD AIDS DAY?
World AIDS Day may be once a year, but you can still support people living with HIV all year round. Sign up to NAT’s mailing list to stay up-to-date with new developments in HIV, and learn how you can get involved as an activist or as a volunteer.
You can also support our work by donating to NAT. We rely on your support to continue championing the rights of people living with HIV.