World AIDS Day: 1st December (Download PDF)


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Since 1988, World AIDS Day is selected to be made on December 1. It indicates raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.

Image of World AIDS day

Image of World AIDS Day

Image of World AIDS day


  • The Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, first conceived world AIDS Day in August 1987.
  • The recommendation was given for first observance of World AIDS Day on 1 December 1988.
  • The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) became operational in 1996, and it took over the planning and promotion of World AIDS Day.
  • Different governments and organizations have declared different months as AIDS Awareness Month.
  • The most popular choices are October and December.
  • December chosen to coincide with World AIDS Day.


  • Despite the virus only identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS.
  • 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.
  • 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.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 1, 2016

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