Dec 1, 1988 CE: World AIDS Day

Dec 1, 1988 CE: World AIDS Day

On December 1, 1988, the world first recognized World AIDS Day, calling attention to the infectious disease responsible for more deaths than any other.


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On December 1, 1988, the world first recognized World AIDS Day. AIDS, which stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is the most advanced stage of HIV—human immunodeficiency virus infection. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 35 million people all over the world are living with HIV. As its name indicates, HIV reduces the efficiency of the immune system, our bodies’ natural defense against infection and disease. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but there is an effective treatment. The goal of WHO and other health organizations is to ensure that more people in the developing world have access to this treatment. Each year, World AIDS Day has a new theme. In 2018, the theme is “Know your status.” 

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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