World Aids Day 2024 – Date, History, Theme, Activities, Quotes

World aids day is celebrated every year all over the world on the 1st of December to raise public awareness about AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is a pandemic disease caused due to the infection of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The day is celebrated by government organizations, NGOs, civil society, and other health officials by organizing the speeches or forums discussions related to AIDS.


World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st of December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day.


Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus.

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.


World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. You can order a red ribbon through our online shop, or pick one up in a MAC Cosmetics shop and selected branches of Morrisons.

You can also order a free pack of 100 ribbons to fundraise for the National AIDS Trust. World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to raise money for NAT, which will help to champion the rights of people living with HIV in the UK. Visit our fundraising page for ideas, or contact someone in the fundraising team for more information.

You can list your World AIDS Day event on our events page. Or, if you can’t host your own event, you can find out how to attend an event near you.


World AIDS Day may be once a year, but you can still support people living with HIV all year round.

You can also support our work by donating to NAT. We rely on your support to continue championing the rights of people living with HIV.



World AIDS Day was first visualized by the Thomas Netter and James W. Bunn in the month of August in 1987. Thomas Netter and James W. Bunn both are the public information officers for the AIDS Global Programme at the WHO (World Health Organization) in Geneva, Switzerland. They had shared their idea about the AIDS day to Dr. Jonathan Mann (Director of the AIDS Global Programme), who had approved the idea and recommended the World AIDS Day observance on 1st of December in the year 1988.

World AIDS Day celebration was decided by them to be celebrated every year on 1st of December accurately. They thought that it should be decided far from the election time, Christmas holidays or other holidays. It should be celebrated during a time when people and news media could pay more interest and attention in broadcasting the news all across the world.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, also known as the UNAIDS, came into effect in the year 1996 and started promoting worldwide.


Following are the list of all the year wise themes of World Aids Day:

  • The theme of the year 2004 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS”.
  • The theme of the year 2005 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise”.
  • The theme of the year 2006 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise-Accountability”.
  • The theme of the year 2007 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise- Leadership”.
  • The theme of the year 2008 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise-Lead-Empower-Deliver”.
  • The theme of the year 2009 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Universal Access and Human Rights”.
  • The theme of the year 2010 for the World Aids Day campaign was, “Universal Access and Human Rights”.
  • The theme of the year 2011 for World Aids Day campaign was, “Getting to zero”.
  • The theme of the year 2012 for World Aids Day campaign was, “Together we will end AIDS”.
  • The theme of the year 2013 for World Aids Day campaign was, “Zero Discrimination”.
  • The theme of the year 2014 for World Aids Day campaign was, “Close the gap”.
  • The theme of the year 2015 for World Aids Day campaign was, “On the fast track to end AIDS”.
  • The theme of the year 2016 for World Aids Day campaign was, “Hands up for #HIVprevention”.
  • The theme of the year 2017 for World Aids Day campaign was, “My Health, My Right”.
  • The theme of the year 2018 for World Aids Day campaign was, “Know your status”.
  • The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day 2019 is “Communities make the difference”.


It is very necessary to increase awareness among people as they are the main target of the program. Some of the activities are written below:

  • Community-based individuals and organizations should be contacted to plan the World AIDS Day activities, to organize a planned meeting. It can be well started from the local clinics, hospitals, social service agencies, schools, AIDS advocacy groups and etc.
  • A single event or sequence of independent events can be determined for better awareness by the speakers and exhibitors through the forums, rallies, health fairs, community events, faith services, parades, block parties and etc.
  • A public statement can be submitted to the agency board identifying the recognition for the  Day.
  • Red ribbons should be worn or distributed to others to mark the hope to the schools, work sites or community groups. Electronic ribbons can also be distributed to social media outlets.
  • World AIDS Day information can be distributed by linking it to the website of your agency.
  • All the planned events and activities should be already distributed through the e-mail, newsletters, mailings or electronic bulletins.
  • People can be aware by displaying the exhibitions, posters, videos, flyers, brochures for HIV/AIDS and etc.
  • World AIDS Day activities can be informed to a large group of people instantly through the blogs, Facebook, Twitter or through the other social media websites.
  • Actively contribute to the other groups of celebrating World AIDS Day.


The purpose of the celebration every year to well support the Member States in order to build up the new and effective policies and programmes, to strengthen the health systems as well as to increase the capacity of health sectors towards HIV/AIDS. Some of the main objectives of the  Day are listed below:

  • To guide the member states for globally increasing the prevention and control measures for HIV/AIDS.
  • To offer the member states a technical support for implementing the plan for prevention, care as well as treatment for HIV/AIDS including the testing, counselling of mother for transmitting the infection to the child, STI control, and antiretroviral therapy.
  • To aware people of antiretroviral medicines or other commodities that can help them to fight against HIV/AIDS.
  • To involve the peer groups in the campaign to get the most effective result.
  • To encourage more students from the schools, universities, and social structures to contribute to the competitions organized for AIDS.
  • To decrease and control the number of patients infected with HIV/AIDS as well as to encourage the peer groups to the condoms.


  • “HIV/AIDS has no boundaries”.
  •  It was a play in which no one had AIDS, but the characters talked about how it was going to change their lives”.
  • “Small aids to individuals, large aid to masses”.
  • “AIDS is an absolutely tragic disease. The argument about AIDS’ being some kind of divine retribution is crap”.
  • “Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS”.
  • “I know one man who was impotent who gave AIDS to his wife and the only thing they did was kiss”.
  • “If you judge people you have no time to love them”.
  • “Let us give publicity to H.I.V./AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like TB, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of H.I.V./AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary”.
  • “The AIDS is a disease that is hard to talk about”.
  • “I burned out on AIDS and did no AIDS work for a couple of years. I was so angry that people were still getting this disease that nobody can give you-you have to go out and get it”!
  • “My son has died of AIDS”.
  • “Because of the lack of education on AIDS, discrimination, fear, panic, and lies surrounded me”.
  • “You can’t get AIDS from a hug or a handshake or a meal with a friend”.
  • “This AIDS stuff is pretty scary. I hope I don’t get it”.

About AIDS

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which attacks the immune system of the human body. The disease was first recognized in the year 1981. It was first identified by the name of AIDS on the 27th of July in the year 1982.

HIV infection can be easily transmitted from one person to the other if they have contact ever directly through the mucous membrane, bodily fluid or blood. In the earlier period, there was a lot of social stigma for people with HIV/AIDS.

HIV is a virus which attacks the T-cells of the immune system and causes the disease known as AIDS. It is found in the human body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluids, the breast milk of the infected person which can be passed to others by a direct contact like blood transfusion, oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex or injecting contaminated needles. It can be passed to the baby by the pregnant women during delivery or through breastfeeding.


Signs and Symptoms of HIV/AIDS

A person with HIV/AIDS has the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Sweats during night
  • Enlarged glands
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle ache
  • Red rashes

The infected person never feels any symptoms during this period and appears healthy.

But, in the late stage of HIV infection (when the virus weakens the immune system to fight against it) the person develops an illness with AIDS. The person with the late-stage infection started showing the following signs and symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Permanent tiredness
  • Fever (above 100f)
  • Night Sweats
  • Diarrhoea (persistent and chronic)
  • Dry cough
  • White spots on the tongue and mouth
  • Swollen glands
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Esophagitis (inflammation of lower oesophagus linings)
  • Kaposi sarcoma, cancer of the cervix, lungs, rectum, liver, head, neck and the cancer of the immune system (lymphomas).
  • Meningitis, encephalitis and peripheral neuropathy
  • Toxoplasmosis (infection of the brain)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia

Aids never spread through the handshake, hug, sneeze, unbroken skin touch or the use of the same toilet.

Read More

December Social Events Date of Celebration
World Aids Day 1st December
National Pollution Control Day 2nd December
International Day of Disabled Persons 3rd December
Navy Day 4th December
International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development 5th December
Dr. Ambedkar Mahaparinirvan Diwas 6th December
Armed Forces Flag Day 7th December
Saarc Charter Day 8th December
All India Handicrafts Week 8th to 14th December
Human Rights Day 10th December
Minorities Rights Day in India 18th December
National Energy Conservation Day 14th December
National Mathematics Day 22nd December
National Farmers’ Day 23rd December
Good Governance Day 25th December