World AIDS Day
1 December, 2023 (All day)

World AIDS Day is a global movement to unite people in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Since 1988, communities have stood together on World AIDS Day to show strength and solidarity against HIV stigma and to remember lives lost.

Why is World AIDS Day important?

In the UK, more than 105,000 people are living with HIV. Globally, an estimated 38 million people live with the virus. More than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses over the past 40 years, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Medical advances mean people with HIV in the UK can expect a long and healthy life and that we have the tools to stop HIV transmissions for good. But HIV continues to be highly stigmatised and misunderstood. At National AIDS Trust, the UK’s HIV rights charity, we are contacted weekly by people experiencing discrimination because of HIV, including in work, education, housing and even healthcare.

World AIDS Day exists to shine a light on the real experiences of people living with HIV today, while celebrating the strength, resilience and diversity of the communities most affected. It is a moment to inspire the leadership needed to create a future where HIV doesn’t stand in the way of anyone’s life.

What's the story behind the red ribbon?

The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. It was first devised in 1991, when twelve artists met to discuss a new project for Visual AIDS, a New York HIV-awareness arts organisation.

It was there that they came up with what would become one of the most recognised symbols of the decade: the red ribbon, worn to signify awareness and support for people living with HIV. The artists wanted to create a visual expression of compassion for people living with HIV and chose red for its boldness, and for its symbolic associations with passion, the heart and love.

What can I do on World AIDS Day?

In addition to wearing a red ribbon, fundraising for National AIDS Trust and spreading awareness of issues affecting people living with HIV are just a some of the ways to get involved this World AIDS Day. Visit the Join in page for ideas on what you can do.