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Durham University

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

World AIDS Day

What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st 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 101,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 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, 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 around 5,000 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.

Find our more about World AIDS Day

Oriental Museum

Currently on display in the Oriental Museum is an artwork by artist Stuart Langley, titled 36point7 to mark World AIDS Day, from the Western Art Collection.

In 2016 there were an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally.

Since the 1980s an estimated 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in history. In 2016 alone, 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. In 2018, World AIDS Day takes place on 1st December and is 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.

The 36point7 project reimagines the World AIDS Day charity ribbon worn by many, increasing its distinctiveness and ensuring visibility for the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS across the world.