World AIDS Day is annually celebrated on Dec. 1. Each year, United Nations agencies, governments, nonprofit organizations, and society join together to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS.
World AIDS Day is not only an opportunity to come together and fight against HIV/AIDS and to show support for those living with HIV, but it is also a time to honor those who lost their battle with the virus.
The observance originated at the 1988 United Nations World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention.
Ahead of this year’s observance, President Biden released a statement discussing the administration’s plans toward ending the AIDS/HIV virus.
“Ending the HIV epidemic is within our reach, and we are committed to finishing this work,” Biden said.
“On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to building on the progress of the last 4 decades; upholding and advancing human rights; supporting research, science, and data-driven solutions; expanding access to housing, education, and economic empowerment; and fighting stigma and discrimination. No one living with HIV should suffer the undeserved guilt and prejudice that too many continue to experience.”
#HIV can affect anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, or age. This #WorldAIDSDay, we must challenge misinformation, racism, homophobia, and transphobia to #StopHIVStigmahttps://t.co/ZyaZ5EvIgw #WAD2021 #StopHIVTogether #HealthEquity @IDSAInfo @IDSAFoundation pic.twitter.com/XjPvtV1Ui9— HIV Medicine Association (@HIVMA) November 30, 2021
According to the UN AIDS website, this year’s theme is “END INEQUALITIES. END AIDS. END PANDEMICS.”
The theme, according to a blog post on HIV.gov, “highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong commitment to ending the HIV epidemic globally by addressing health inequities and ensuring the voices of people with HIV are central in all our work.”
Additionally, the president also discussed how COVID-19 has impacted the fight in eradicating the virus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenges our heroic health care and frontline workers face, yet they continue to deliver essential HIV prevention services and provide vital care and treatment to people living with HIV,” Biden said. “The pandemic has also interrupted HIV research and highlighted the work that still remains to achieve equitable access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in every community — particularly for communities of color, adolescent girls and young women, and the LGBTQI+ community.”
On #WorldAIDSDay, @Winnie_Byanyima joins Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, calling on the world to join a movement to ensure that pandemic-science for HIV & COVID-19 reaches not just the rich, but all who need it most. pic.twitter.com/abLT3rzVKj— UNAIDS (@UNAIDS) December 1, 2021
Additionally in his World AIDS Day statement, Biden says his administration “remains steadfast in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic.” Even more, there is a budget request of $670 million to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and support for global initiatives to fight HIV/AIDS, which he said has saved more than 21 million lives.
“This remarkable progress over the past 18 years has been made possible through strong, bipartisan United States leadership and American generosity,” Biden said
From the Los Angeles to New York, there are so many events going on to help ring in the anniversary. Explore how you can participate in all the local events going on near you, right here.