Published: December 2, 2019  | Updated: December 6, 2019

IN A NUTSHELL:

  • World AIDS Day was founded in 1988
  • Held every year on December 1 across the globe
  • This year’s theme focused on community efforts

This past Sunday, December 1, 2019 marked World AIDS Day.

Organizations across the globe highlighted milestones in the mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and took time to remember those that lost their lives to the disease.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day is the first-ever global health day. While the red ribbon is the global symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS, every year has a different theme.

This year’s theme is Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community. Dr. Robert Ray Redfield Jr. is an American virologist and the current director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He spoke about the CDC’s vision and approach to controlling the HIV epidemic:

The CDC listed more guidelines on how government agencies, health care providers, and members of the community can work together to end HIV.

Health care providers:

  • Routinely provide HIV testing to all people ages 13 to 64, according to CDC guidelines. Provide HIV treatment as soon as possible after an HIV diagnoses.
  • Prescribe PrEP for people who at risk for getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.

Government agencies and nonprofit organizations:

  • Expand access to HIV testing, including use of self-care kits.
  • Improve HIV treatment by strengthening HIV care and support networks.
  • Promote PrEP in communities and to the populations that need it the most.

Community members:

  • Learn more about HIV
  • Talk about HIV, including treatment as prevention, to help reduce stigma.
  • Stay healthy by talking to your health care provider and taking daily HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV, if advised.

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