The 1st of December is marked as World AIDS. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
As of 2017, AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide, and an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Thanks to recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the death rate from AIDS epidemic has decreased since its peak in 2005 (1 million in 2016, compared to 1.9 million in 2005).
In 2015, global leaders signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. The UHC framework now lies at the centre of all health programmes.
To complement the global World AIDS Day 2017 campaign which promotes the theme “Right to health”, the World Health Organization highlights the need for all 36.7 million people living with HIV and those who are vulnerable and affected by the epidemic, to reach the goal of universal health coverage.