World AIDS Day (WAD) is celebrated around the world on December 1st each year as an important international health day to raise awareness and increased access to treatment and prevention services.
The United Nations Secretariat Building is lit with the Red AIDS ribbon, demonstrating the Organization's commitment to the battle against HIV/AIDS, and to spotlight the General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS on June 25-27, 23 June 2001. Image credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Created in 2004 by UNAIDS and since then the World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee started to consult civil society, organisations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response to select a theme for it each year.
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Communities make the difference" and recognizes the essential role of communities the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.
#More than ever we need to harness the role of community-led organizations that advocate for their peers, deliver HIV services, defend human rights and provide support. Where communities are engaged, we see change happen. We see investment lead to results. And we see equality, respect and dignity. With communities, we can end AIDS," said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.
Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Health and Marc Miller, Canada's Minister of Indigenous Services in their statement said,
#Today marks the 31st annual World AIDS Day – a time to remember those who we’ve lost, support the over 60,000 Canadians living with HIV/AIDS and recommit ourselves to ending this epidemic once and for all. Today also marks the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week, which helps draw attention to HIV/AIDS in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities...It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to help these organizations do their work, which is exactly why they’re a central part of our Action Plan on Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections...In the fight against HIV/AIDS, we all have a role to play. As a government, we’ll continue to make major investments in prevention, treatment and care. Yet there is simply no substitute for lived experience, and these efforts will always place the work of community organizations and those living with HIV front and centre. Together, let’s prevent new infections, fight stigma and eliminate AIDS by 2030."
Marc Miller (above)/Twitter and Patty Hajdu (below)/Facebook