World AIDS Day 2015

What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1 - see the calendar of World AIDS Day Events in Minnesota. This worldwide effort is designed to: encourage public support and programming to prevent the spread of HIV infection; provide awareness and education about HIV/AIDS; and demonstrate compassion for those infected or affected by HIV.

World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988 after a summit of health ministers from around the world called for a spirit of social tolerance and a greater exchange of information on HIV/AIDS. In 1996, UNAIDS was created to unite 6 global agencies in their response to HIV/AIDS. Today, UNAIDS has designated the organization, World AIDS Campaign, to oversee World AIDS Day. Every five years, the World AIDS Campaign's Global Steering Committee selects a theme for World AIDS Day with input from civil society, organizations and government agencies involved in the AIDS response.

On this page:
World AIDS Day Proclamation
World AIDS Day Themes: Past and Present
AIDS Facts
The Global AIDS/HIV Epidemic: An Interactive Timeline
World AIDS Day Sponsor Information


Printer-friendly version of this WAD fact sheet (PDF)

Here are past and present themes for World AIDS Day:

Year Theme
1988… Talk about HIV/AIDS
1989… Youth
1990… Women and AIDS
1991… Sharing the Challenge
1992… Community Commitment
1993… Time to Act
1994… AIDS and Families
1995… Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities
1996… One World, One Hope
1997… Children Living in a World With AIDS
1998… Young People Can Be a Force for Change
1999… AIDS-Ending the Silence: Listen, Learn, Live
2000… AIDS-Men Make a Difference
2001… I Care, Do You?
2002… Stigma and Discrimination: Live and Let Live
2003… Stigma and Discrimination: Live and Let Live
2004… Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS
2005-2010… Stop AIDS. Keep the promise.
2011 – 2015…Getting to Zero

World AIDS Day Purpose and Theme

World AIDS Day on December 1st draws people together from around the world in solidarity to pay tribute to the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS, raise awareness of the global impact of HIV/AIDS, and celebrate victories that are allowing more people to live longer and healthier lives.

The World AIDS Campaign's Global Steering Committee has selected the theme, “Getting to Zero,” for the annual World AIDS Day observances, 2011 – 2015. The theme is about reducing new HIV infections, discrimination and AIDS related deaths to zero through increased advances and equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.

Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, infection with HIV has grown to pandemic proportions, resulting in an estimated 75 million infections and 36 million deaths.

AIDS Facts
Worldwide estimates in 2015 (UNAIDS):
Over 75 million have been infected since 1981:

  • 35.3 million living with HIV/AIDS
  • Over 39 million have died

2.1 million Infected in 2013 (6,300 per day)
1.5 million AIDS related deaths in 2013
240,000 children infected in 2013

In Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Each day about 4,400 are infected
  • Each day about 3,300 die of AIDS
  • 25 million are living with HIV (

United States (reported as of 12/31/11 by CDC):
1,190,719 AIDS cases estimated
658,992 deaths among AIDS cases (est. in 11)
50,000 new HIV/AIDS cases occur per year
A lmost 1.2 million are living with HIV and about one fifth are unaware of their infection (CDC)

Minnesota (reported as of 12/31/14 by MDH):
10,718 HIV/AIDS cases reported
3,638 deaths among HIV/AIDS cases
7,988 reported living with HIV/AIDS
307 HIV cases reported in 2014 (1 case / 29 hrs.)

World AIDS Day Proclamation

December 1 has been proclaimed as World AIDS Day in Minnesota. As AIDS and HIV continue to be a major public health concern here in Minnesota and worldwide, the Governor has joined the worldwide effort in battling the pandemic. A proclamation declaring Minnesota's observance is provided.

The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Timeline of Key Milestones is designed to serve as an ongoing reference tool for many of the political, scientific, cultural and community events that have occurred over the history of the epidemic.

World AIDS Day International Sponsor

World AIDS Campaign
3rd Floor, 38 Hout Street
Cape Town, 8001
South Africa
Tel: + 27 21 487 3010

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Updated Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 03:16PM