Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation

On December 1, people throughout the world observe World AIDS Day, an opportunity for the global community to honor those living with HIV; the families, friends, caregivers, and communities who support them; and those who have lost their lives to AIDS.

The theme for 2014 – “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation” – reflects the drive to focus on interventions that work and partner with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve control of the epidemic and move closer to an AIDS-free generation.

Currently, an estimated 34 million people around the globe are living with AIDS, and 35 million have died from the virus.

“World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the HIV virus through education on its prevention and control.”

It was the the brain child of two public information officers for the Global Programme at the World Health Organization in Geneva Switzerlan, James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter. They presented heir idea to the Director of the Global Programme of AIDS (UNAIDS in August 1987 who approved it and agreed with Mr. Bunn’s recommendation that the first observance should be December 1. 1988. The date was chosen to maximize coverage of World AIDS Day by western media as it was long enough after the US elections and far enough in advance of the Christmas holidays.


On November 25, 2014, the United States Centers for Disease Control released its latest report on the HIV Continuum of Care in a new edition of Vital Signs, which includes a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Vital Signs: HIV Diagnosis, Care, and Treatment Among Persons Living with HIV — United States, 2011, and an accompanying fact sheet, HIV Care Saves Lives, Viral Suppression is Key. Visit the Vital Signs website to learn more. According to the Vital Signs report, of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV in 2011, less than a third had their virus under control through effective care and treatment.
To find out more about the CDC and it’s efforts,  in the fight against AIDS, click here

Initially the theme of World AIDS Day was on children and young people to help remove some of the stigma surrounding AIDS and boost recognition of it as a family disease. It has been very effective in doing just that. In 1997 UNAIDS began a campaign to focus on year round communications, prevention and education.  The campaigns have been so effective that Popes John II and Benedict XVI have each released greeting message for patients and doctors on World AIDS Day.

Since 2007, The United States White House has been observing the day with a 28 foot red ribbon, the symbol AIDS, displayed on  the buidings’ North Portico.  Read and share the U.S Presidential Proclamation recognizing World AIDS Day 2014.


The red ribbon, the familiar symbol of AIDS, was created by a New York based group of artist and AIDS Activists called Visual AIDS Artists Caucus. Their goal was to create a symbol that would demonstrate compassion for people both those who were living with AIDS and their caregivers. Red was chosen because of its “connection to blood and the idea of passion”  – anger and love.

Each year the World AIDS Campaign chooses  World AIDS Day theme.  In 2012 a four year theme was adopted for Worlds Aids Day; Getting To Zero; Zero new HIV infections, Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness, Zero discrimination. The themes are used year long to further awareness and become better educated about this disease.  It been very effective as different organizations, governments and individuals are rethinking their idea and treatment of AIDS,  AIDS patients and their families.

An example of the Getting to Zero theme being applied is seen in “90-90-90 Initiative” launched by UNAIDS in September of this year to end the AIDS epidemic. The “90-90-90” initiative sets global goals for countries to increase HIV testing so that 90% of all people in that country living with HIV know their status, 90% of those who are HIV positive are offered treatment and 90% of those on antiretoviral medicine are virally suppressed by 2020.

We are so grateful for their efforts and hope that soon, because of their efforts AIDS will be cured.
To find out how you can get more information, including where to get tested and treatment, visit