Each year, the world unites to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1. The day is an opportunity to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses, show support for those who are living with HIV and unite in the fight against HIV.
The first World AIDS Day was celebrated in 1988, making it the first global health day. This year’s observation is especially emotional, as we mark 40 years since the first five cases of what became known as AIDS were officially reported.
The CDC’s theme for World AIDS Day 2021 is “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” which showcases the commitment to ending the HIV epidemic globally by addressing healthcare inequities and ensuring the voices of people with HIV are central in all of the work.
In 40 years, remarkable progress has been made in preventing and treating HIV domestically and globally. New discoveries and innovations in HIV research, prevention, care and treatment have contributed to reducing new HIV transmissions and ensuring individuals with HIV can live long, healthy lives. We have also made progress in reducing HIV stigma in our communities and health care systems.
The work isn’t over. HIV remains a threat, and certain populations and regions of the country are bearing much of the burden. Persistent inequities serve as critical barriers and show us where we must focus our efforts.
This World AIDS Day is a good reminder to get tested for HIV and to get, and stay, in HIV treatment. Please see our directory to find HIV testing and care in the Memphis area.