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World AIDS day 2021

29 Nov 2021

World AIDS day takes place on the 1st of December 2021. This year marks 40 years since the first reported cases of HIV-related illnesses and deaths.

Nowadays, the term AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is less commonly used and instead 'late stage' or 'advanced' HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are preferred terms. Thanks to the success of HIV treatments, it is less common for serious HIV related illnesses to develop. However, HIV remains a global public health crisis that affects millions of people worldwide.

  • Today there are an estimated 105,200 people in the UK living with HIV.
  • 98% of these people are on effective treatment and 97% can't pass on the virus to others.

Despite significant progress in recent decades, COVID-19 continues to disrupt access to vital HIV services, making the lives of many people living with HIV more challenging.

The theme of World AIDS Day 2021 is 'End inequalities. End AIDS'. The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners aim to highlight the inequalities for people around the world in accessing essential HIV services. they are calling on global leaders and citizens to come together to confront these inequalities and reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services.

The key messages for the campaign are:

1. Re-commit to end HIV

  • Renew efforts to end HIV as a public health threat by the year 2030 despite persistent inequalities and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Tackle HIV and COVID-19 together

  • Confront the special challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with HIV.

3. Focus on equality

  • Ensure that everyone, everywhere has equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care, including COVID-19 vaccinations and services.

4. Concentrate on those left behind

  • WHO recommends renewing focus on countries and populations that are still missing out on the global response to HIV and AIDS, including 'key' populations and people who are at high risk.

Further information on World Aids Day campaigns can be accessed via the following links:

More information on Blood Borne Virus Infections (including HIV) and advice for HIV travellers