World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.
Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally there are an estimated 34 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 6,000 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 increase awareness, fight prejudice, improve education and raise money.
World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show support to and solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV. Wearing a red ribbon is one simple way to do this.
NYAA also commemorates WAD. To mark WAD, we are displaying the North Yorkshire AIDS Memorial Quilt in Scarborough Hospital Foyer from 1pm Friday 25th November until 1pm Sunday 27th November. It will be in Harrogate District Hospital from 10am until 8pm on Tuesday 29th November and York District Hospital from 9am until 9pm on Thursday 1st December.