World AIDS Day

Organized on 1st December every year since the year 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day to raise awareness of the AIDS disease caused by HIV infection and to commemorate those who have died from this disease. Caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening disease. HIV attacks the immune system of the patient and reduces resistance to other diseases. Health officials, governments, NGOs as well as individuals observe this day to learn about AIDS and its prevention and control.


This day provides an opportunity for the people around the world to unite against HIV as well as showing support to those people who are living with HIV and commemorate those who have died from HIV-related diseases. HIV is a serious public health problem affecting millions of people worldwide. According to WHO in the year 2020, approximately 37.7 million people are living with HIV. Also, in the year 2020, 6,80,000 people have died from HIV-related causes.

In the year 2020, there were 1.5 million new infections and about 73% of people with HIV received antiretroviral therapy.

World AIDS Day is observed to raise awareness of the HIV epidemic, oppose the stigma of HIV, and call for a stronger response to the end of HIV.

History of the day

The day was devised by Thomas Netter and James Bunn, spokespersons for the Global Program on AIDS. These employees worked for the World Health Organization in a global program on AIDS. Bunn and Netter brought the World AIDS Day proposal to Jonathan Mann, director of the Global Program on AIDS. Since then, World AIDS Day on December 1 has been observed with the first time being in the year 1988. In the year 1996, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS was started and World AIDS Day was held. It consists of various themes proposed as one of the most important changes in the World AIDS Day organization.

Theme for 2021

End inequalities. End AIDS is the theme for the year 2021.

Objective of this day

The main purpose this day is to develop new and effective strategies and programs to strengthen the health system and enhance the health sector’s ability to combat HIV or AIDS. Guidelines for Member States to Strengthen Prevention and Control Measures for HIV or AIDS around the world are also provided. This day also looks to raise public awareness of antiretroviral drugs that can help them fight HIV infection. This day also looks to provide technical assistance to Member States in implementing HIV or AIDS prevention and treatment plans, including counselling and testing and antiretroviral therapy. Encourage school and college students to participate in campaigns organized for AIDS. This day is also observed with the aim to reduce the number of people infected with HIV and AIDS.