World AIDS Day: 5 Things To Know About This 30+ Year Gathering

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Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. Its main purpose is to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection while mourning the lives this tragic disease took.

It’s an important day, especially for the LGBTQ community, as we’ve lost thousands of incredible people along the way due to the AIDS crisis that began many decades ago.

 

Here are 5 things you should know about World AIDS Day including how you, the reader, can participate. 

How It Began. It was founded in 1988 and became the first ever global health day. World AIDS Day was conceived one year earlier 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. 

Changing Themes. Each year World AIDS Day focuses on a specific theme chosen by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), WHO and many other related agencies who are involved in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Past themes honed in on women, children, stigma and discrimination as it relates to the disease. For 2020 its “global solidarity shared responsibility” in relation to the colliding epidemics of HIV and COVID-19. 

Celebrity Support. Several internationally-known names, including Madonna and Troye Sivan, have spoken out on World AIDS Day each year. They have taken to their social media pages and sent out messages of support for the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS and honoring the ones that lost their lives to this disease. 

Related Social Media Accounts. The AIDS Memorial Instagram and Facebook page is a fantastic resource to follow as the loved ones of some of these individuals post emotional and touching dedications to them years after they had passed. 

How You Can Help. Most people wear an HIV awareness red ribbon today (seen in the first pic above). It’s a way to show that they stand in solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. You can order one through the official World AIDS Day page here.

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