World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people  around the world 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. World AIDS Day  began in 1988 and was the first ever global health day.

The red ribbon is used as a symbol of awareness and solidarity of people living with HIV/AIDS

Why is world AIDS day important?

Around the world there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Since the virus was first 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 thousands of 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.

What can I do on world AIDS day?

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day.

adapted from World AIDS Day 2020, National AIDS Trust, UK


  • awareness – la conciencia
  • related – relacionado
  • ribbon – la cinta
  • treatment – el tratamiento
  • to unite – unirse
  • vital – esencial
  • worldwide – mundial


Many words in English and Spanish are the same or very similar.  These are called cognates (cognatados).

  • to commemorate – conmemorar
  • destructive – destructivo
  • to diagnose – diagnosticar
  • discrimination – la discriminación
  • estimated – estimado
  • to identify – identificar
  • pandemic – la pandemia
  • prejudice – el prejuicio
  • reality – la realidad
  • solidarity – la solidaridad
  • stigma – el estigma
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