The first World AIDS Day was in 1988. It was first celebrated to provide a platform for raising awareness about AIDS and HIV and honor the lives of those who were affected by the epidemic. The first of December of 2023 will mark the 35th commemoration of the World AIDS Day. The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is “World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit ( The focus of this event is to remind individuals of the struggle to end the HIV-related stigma. This event also serves as an honoring of the individuals lost and a commitment to ongoing work toward ending the public health threat of HIV.  

According to the National AIDS Trust, World AIDS Day represents a global movement uniting individuals in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Approximately thirty-eight million people live with the virus worldwide, and in the last forty years, more than thirty-five million people have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses. World AIDS Day is a reminder of the experiences of people who live with AIDS. This day also celebrates the strength, resilience, and diversity of the affected communities. 

The red ribbon has become the international symbol to represent the awareness and support of those living with HIV. Visual AIDS, an HIV-awareness arts organization in New York, devised the red ribbon in 1991. Twelve artists worked on this project, and they chose the color red because of its boldness and symbolism associated with passion, heart, and love. On December 1st, wear a red ribbon to show your solidarity with everyone living with AIDS worldwide. 

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Written by Zoe Srebnick