Gideon Mendel, Hlabisa AIDS Educators at Work, 1995
World AIDS Day was established on December 1, 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The 2009 World AIDS Day theme is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”
World AIDS Day on 1 December draws together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The Day is one of the most visible opportunities for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world.
There are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, according to 2007 figures released by WHO. An estimated 2.5 million were newly infected with the virus and 2.1 million died of AIDS the same year. Eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa now account for almost one-third of all new infections and AIDS deaths globally.
World Health Organization, 2009