The World Health Ministers’ Summit held in 1988 declared that year as the Year of Communication and Cooperation on AIDS and subsequently the World Health Organization proposed that December 1 of each year be declared World AIDS Day, with the support of the World Health Assembly and the United Nations General Assembly.

Since then, UN agencies, governments and civil society use this date each year to support people living with HIV, to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses and specially to encourage concrete actions and efforts in specific areas of public life related to the epidemic.
Forty years since the first AIDS cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Today, the world is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program aimed at coordinating the activities of the various UN specialized agencies in their fight against HIV/AIDS, offers official data from the last year in the world: 1.5 million people contracted HIV, 37.7 million people were living with HIV in 2020, and 680 thousand people died from AIDS-related diseases in 2020.

The slogan chosen for World AIDS Day 2021 is “End inequalities. End AIDS. End the pandemics”. For this year’ s World AIDS Day, UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima makes her statement: “AIDS remains a pandemic, the red light is flashing and only by moving fast to end the inequalities that drive the pandemic can we overcome it.”