Why World Aids Day matters

By staff writers
December 1, 2014

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.

Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fundraise, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round. That's why the National Aids Trust (NAT) has launched HIVaware — a fun, interactive website which provides all the information everyone should know about HIV.

* HIVAware: http://www.hivaware.org.uk

* World Aids Day: http://www.worldaidsday.org/

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