World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December each year, is an important opportunity when governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals around the world bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic and emphasize the critical need for a committed, meaningful and sustained response.
Among the current problems facing the world, perhaps the biggest of them all are AIDS and HIV infections. According to official data, more than 25 million people have died of these infections between 1981 and 2007. Despite improved preventive measures such as condoms as well as improved antiretroviral treatments, the problem still remains a worry across the globe.
Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Day has the theme: “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths”.
The WHO’s focus for the 2013 campaign is improving access to prevention, treatment and care services for adolescents (10-19 years), a group that continues to be vulnerable despite efforts so far.
World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Bunn and Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS). Dr. Mann liked the concept, approved it, and agreed with the recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be 1 December, 1988.
Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.