World AIDS Day History- Facts And Infographic

World AIDS Day History- Facts And Infographic

World AIDS Day History- Facts And Infographic; Since 1988, World AIDS Day is marked every year on the 1st of December and it is an important day to remember all of those who have died since the beginning of the epidemic. The World AIDS Day History is traced to the period when the United Nations-backed “World AIDS Day” was first significantly marked back in the late 80s, the world was experiencing a huge spike in diagnoses of the disease. There was widespread hysteria and worry about the disease and those who carried it. The general public was ill-informed and even governments didn’t know how best to deal with the issue.

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World AIDS Day History- Facts And Infographic

World AIDS Day History

World AIDS Day concept was at first instance brought in August 1987 by Thomas Netter and James W. Bunn, two public information officers for the Worldwide Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Bunn and Netter forwarded their idea to the Director of the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS)- Dr. Jonathan Mann.

The World AIDS Day History of the first two years brought about the theme of World AIDS Day with the concentration on children and people of young age. While the choice of this theme was criticized at the time by some for abandoning the fact that people of all ages are prone to be infected with HIV, the theme aided in alleviating some of the stigma surrounding the disease and increased the recognition of the issue as a family disease.

World AIDS Day History- Facts And Infographic
Aids Victim

Dr. Mann whom the initiation of the World AIDS Day was brought to look into it, liked the concept, gave his approval to it, and agreed with the suggestion that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be on 1 December 1988. Bunn, the former television broadcast journalist who hailed from San Francisco, had suggested the date of 1 December that believing it would yield maximum coverage of World AIDS Day by western news media, sufficiently long following the US elections but prior to the Christmas holidays.

The World AIDS Day History can also be traced to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) which started its operational activities in 1996 and took control of the planning and promotion of World AIDS Day. Rather than lay emphasis on a single day, UNAIDS initiated the World AIDS Campaign in 1997 to primarily exhibit an action plan on year-round communications, prevention and education. In 2004, the World AIDS Campaign transformed into being an independent organization.

A collection of HIV and AIDS-related NGOs (including Panagea Global AIDS and The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa) in 2016 commenced a campaign to rename World AIDS Day to World HIV Day. They say their reason is that the change will put the emphasis on social justice issues, and the advancement of treatments like PrEP.

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have released a greeting message for patients and doctors on World AIDS Day every year.

The White House of the USA began marking World AIDS Day with the iconic laying of a 28-foot AIDS Ribbon on the building’s North Portico in 2007. The display, now an annual tradition, expeditiously garnered attention, as it was the first banner, symbol or sign to prominently hang from the White House from the time of the Abraham Lincoln administration.

US presidential proclamations of World AIDS Day are usually tendered annually since 1995.

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Thankfully, education and understanding about the disease have improved since then but it’s still important to use December 1st to remember those who have died over the years from the disease and related illnesses but also those who continue to live with it all over the globe.

AIDS and HIV are diseases that have touched all levels of society but at present, 70% of new diagnoses are from residents of Sub-Saharan Africa. Much of the issue here is access to crucial medication, which can ensure that those who are living with HIV don’t progress to the AIDS disease but also that they live a “normal” life.

World AIDS Day is the perfect time to continue to raise awareness of the stigma and misinformation surrounding the disease. It’s also a time to lobby governments to look at their funding for medication for those who crucially need it in the management of the disease throughout the world.

Focus too needs to continue to proceed with education to children and teenagers about the dangers of unprotected sex and other measures to ensure they understand how the disease is spread from person to person.

Awareness has certainly improved but it’s vital that we continue to work to ensure that no more lives are lost or irrevocably changed to this disease.


World AIDS Day History- Facts And Infographic
Credit: carvakasextoys

The people at Carvaka have put together this infographic above which details many statistics that highlight the stark state of AIDS and HIV globally today. It also takes a look at the numbers who have access to vital medication and what that means to their life expectancy. Check out the full graphic below for more.


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