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. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.
World AIDS Day works to ensure that those who suffer from AIDS can live in a safer, more understanding world and help further research to eliminate it.
World AIDS Day was first held in 1988, just four years after the discovery of the virus and its official classification. Since that time 35 million people have died, putting it far ahead of many of the other most devastating diseases in the history of man. Since that day the work of men and women everywhere has led to a greater understanding of HIV/AIDS (you can’t get it by sharing a can of coke, or sharing a toilet seat, for instance), but that has only served to slow the tide. 6,000 people each year are diagnosed with HIV in the UK alone, and there are still people out there who don’t know all the facts about it.
World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day.