On 1 December 2018, WHO will join global partners to commemorate World AIDS Day under the theme “Know Your Status”. This will also be an occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day – a pioneering global health campaign first initiated by WHO in 1988.
WHO advocacy and communication for World AIDS Day 2018 will aim to achieve the following objectives:
1- Urge people to know their HIV infection status through testing, and to access HIV prevention, treatment and care services;
2- Urge policy-makers to promote a “health for all” agenda for HIV and related health services, such as tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis and noncommunicable diseases.
World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.
World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day.
As of 2017, AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, and an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Thanks to recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the death rate from AIDS epidemic has decreased since its peak in 2005 (1 million in 2016, compared to 1.9 million in 2005).