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World AIDS Day

What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. 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.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.


5 Facts Poster

Did you know?

  • World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, being founded in 1988.
  • Over 105,200 people are living with HIV in the UK alone; Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus.
  • Each year in the UK over 4,139 people are diagnosed with HIV.
  • Recent research found 63% of the public do not remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past six months.
  • 1 in 5 think people think you can acquire HIV through kissing.
  • In a survey, only 16% of people knew if someone is on effective treatment, they can’t pass HIV on and can expect to live a long and healthy life.
  • HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed an estimated 36.3 million lives so far.

What is PrEP?

PrEP stands for "pre-exposure prophylaxis" - it is a pill you can take to protect you from the risks of contracting HIV. It's extremely effective when taken properly!

By taking PrEP correctly, you don't need to worry about a sexual partner's HIV status. For more information, click here.

What can I do on World AIDS Day?

Buy a red ribbon

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. You can order a red ribbon from the National AIDS Trust's official online shop, or pick one up in any branch of MAC Cosmetics in the UK.

Get tested

Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have HIV. If you are living with HIV, starting treatment early means you can live a full, healthy and productive life. Free and confidential HIV tests are available from NHS sexual health clinics (also called GUM clinics), charity testing services, many GP surgeries, pharmacies or online for self-testing at home. Free self-sampling HIV test kits are available here.


You can order a free pack of 100 fabric red ribbons to fundraise for National AIDS Trust. There is also a fundraising pack full of ideas to host an event for National AIDS Trust this World AIDS Day. Still short on ideas? There's even a webpage made for university students to find out how to get involved!

Don’t forget to add the event tag "#RockTheRibbon" to your event if you're making one on the SU site! You can also list your World AIDS Day event on the official campaign events page where you can also search for other events near you.

We look forward to seeing what you get up to!

Links and Resources

Check out our social media campaign for World AIDS Day!

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