World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 35 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, many 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. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as 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.
If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding.
You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.
World AIDS Day is also a great opportunity to raise money for NAT (National AIDS Trust) and show your support for people living with HIV. If you feel inspired to hold an event, bake sale or simply sell red ribbons, click here to get started.
If you’d like to see what other events are taking place — click here and find out more.
Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fundraising, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round. That’s why NAT has launched HIVaware, a fun, interactive website which provides all the information everyone should know about HIV. Why not use what you have learnt on World AIDS Day to Act Aware throughout the year and remember, you can raise funds at any time of year too — NAT is always here to give you suggestions and ideas.