World AIDS Day [1st December]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Nov 16, 2022, 10:57

World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic due to the spread of HIV infection and to remember people who have died due to the disease. This day is one of the global public health day campaigns of the World Health Organization (WHO). Observing World AIDS Day helps to end the stigma regarding the disease and makes people aware of its causes and early symptoms.

AIDS Day was established by the World Health Organization in August 1987, and the first World AIDS Day was celebrated the following year. Learn more about the theme, history, and significance of this day here.

World AIDS Day 2022

AIDS is an ongoing pandemic, with an estimated 37.7 million people living with the disease currently. World AIDS Day is an attempt to raise awareness about the disease caused by the spread of the HIV virus. This day is also observed to remember the people who lost their lives to AIDS.

World Health Organization, the organization that established the day, believes that with awareness of the causes and early symptoms of AIDS, people can deal with the disease better. Here, we have shared a brief overview of AIDS Day:


World AIDS Day


1st December (every year)


Internationally (by all UN Member States)

World AIDS Day Theme 2022

“Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV”.

AIDS Symbol

Red ribbon

Established By

World Health Organization in 1987


To raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic and remember those who lost their lives to it.

AIDS Day - What is AIDS?

AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a medical condition caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). This virus is fatal for the human immune system, making it weak against other diseases. AIDS is a life-threatening medical condition, with millions of people dying from it each year.

To raise awareness about this deadly disease, World AIDS Day is celebrated on 1st December each year. Since the disease spreads through sexual contact or contact with infected blood, a lot of stigma surrounds this disease. Therefore, AIDS Day is also an occasion to spread the right information and end the stigma surrounding the disease.

World AIDS Day Theme 2022

All International AIDS Day campaigns are focused on a single subject, which is chosen after discussions with UNAIDS, WHO, and a wide range of grassroots, national, and international organizations active in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The World AIDS Day theme 2022 is "Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV".

The theme for AIDS Day is a part of the international effort to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in conjunction with other key global events, such as the G8 Summit and local campaigns, such as the Student Stop AIDS Campaign in the United Kingdom.

Previous Year's AIDS Day Theme

Every year, on 1st December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day to raise awareness of the disease and honour those who have died as a result. The aim of observing this day is to remind people and governments that HIV is still prevalent and that increasing awareness, fighting discrimination, raising funds, and improving education about the virus and disease is still critical.

Here are some of the previous year's themes of AIDS Day:


World AIDS Day Theme


Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV


End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics. (UN) Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice (US)


Global Solidarity Shared Responsibility


Communities Make the Difference


Know your Status


My Health, My Right


Hands up for #HIVprevention


On the Fast Track to End AIDS


Close the Gap


Zero Discrimination


Together We Will End AIDS


Getting to Zero


Universal Access and Human Rights


Universal Access and Human Rights


Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Lead – Empower – Deliver


Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Leadership


Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Accountability


Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise


Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS


Stigma and Discrimination


Stigma and Discrimination


I Care. Do You?


AIDS: Men Make a Difference


Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People


Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People


Children Living in a World with AIDS


One World. One Hope.


Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities


AIDS and the Family


Time to Act


Community Commitment


Sharing the Challenge


Women and AIDS





History of AIDS Day

James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public info managers with the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland, first proposed the idea of World AIDS Day in August 1987.

Bunn, a former San Francisco television broadcast journalist, advocated that 1st December is the best date for the day. He believed that western news media would optimize awareness of World AIDS Day then since it would be sufficiently long after the US campaigns but before the Christmas holidays.

For the first two years, the theme of World AIDS Day was focused on children and young people. While some criticized the theme at the time for disregarding the fact that HIV can infect people of all ages, it did help relieve some of the stigma associated with the disease.

Significance of World AIDS Day

Government health officials, non-governmental agencies, and individuals around the world commemorate World AIDS Day to educate the general population about AIDS prevention and control. This day is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS and HIV - topics that are otherwise considered taboo in society. Here is why AIDS Day is significant:

  • It encourages people to open up about AIDS to end the stigma around it.
  • It is a day to raise awareness about preventing and managing the disease.
  • World AIDS Day can be an occasion that helps AIDS patients feel supported.

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FAQs on World AIDS Day

Q1. When is World AIDS Day celebrated?

World AIDS Day is celebrated on 1st December each year. This day was first observed in 1988 after the World Health Organization official founded it. AIDS Day spreads awareness about the deadly AIDS pandemic, its causes, symptoms, and effects.

Q2. What is the theme of World AIDS Day 2022?

World AIDS Day theme 2022 is "Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV." WHO and its partners emphasize the rising inequities in access to basic HIV services, with a special focus on those who have been left behind on AIDS Day.

Q3. What is the importance of World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is important because it is an opportunity for people worldwide to come together to fight against HIV, show solidarity for HIV-positive people, and remember those who have died as a result of an AIDS-related illness.

Q4. What is the significance of the red ribbon on World AIDS Day?

The significance of the red ribbon on World AIDS Day is that it symbolizes solidarity with people who have HIV-AIDS. The red ribbon signifies support towards people with AIDS.