World AIDS Day – 1st December 2022

1st December 2022 - 1st December 2022

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. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.


Why is World AIDS Day Important?

Over 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.


Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK over 4,139 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.


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 About AIDS

  1. People on effective HIV treatment can’t pass it on – Effective treatment for HIV suppresses the virus to such low levels that it can’t harm you and you can’t pass it on.
  2. HIV can’t be passed on through day-to-day contact – HIV can’t be passed on through things like touching, kissing, sharing cutlery or glasses. HIV can be passed on through sex without a condom but only if a person is not on effective treatment. It can also be passed on through sharing needles and during pregnancy (but in the UK this is extremely rare because we have great treatment).
  3. HIV can affect anyone – Some groups of people are affected by HIV more than others, but it can be passed on to anyone.
  4. People living with HIV can live long and healthy lives – There isn’t a cure for HIV, but there is excellent treatment. If you are diagnosed in good time and take your medication, you can have as long and healthy a life as everyone else.
  5. There are many ways to prevent HIV
  • Getting regularly tested for HIV if you are sexually active
  • Taking PrEP or PEP (tablets which prevent HIV either before or just after you’ve been exposed to it)
  • Using condoms
  • Never sharing needles
  • Taking your medication if you are living with HIV


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 our online shop, pick one up at selected branches of MAC Cosmetics in the UK, or add to a donation when shopping at MAC online.


You can order a free pack of 100 fabric red ribbons to fundraise for National AIDS Trust. There are also fundraising packs full of ideas to host an event for National AIDS Trust this World AIDS Day. Visit the fundraising pages and don’t forget to list your World AIDS Day event on the events page where you can also search for other events near you.

There are many ways to fundraise, and there’s help you every step of the way. For more information click here.


Click here to watch video HIV: Positively Speaking