The United Nations Secretariat Building is lit with the Red AIDS ribbon
The United Nations Secretariat Building is lit with the Red AIDS ribbon, demonstrating the Organization's commitment to the battle against HIV/AIDS, and to spotlight the General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS on June 25-27, 23 June 2001
Photo:UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics

Every year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS.

This World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is highlighting the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics around the world.

Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiralling social and economic crisis.

Forty years since the first AIDS cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Today, the world is off track from delivering on the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030 not because of a lack of knowledge or tools to beat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that obstruct proven solutions to HIV prevention and treatment.

Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be ended as a matter of urgency if we are to end AIDS by 2030.

Although there is a perception that a time of crisis is not the right time to prioritize tackling the underlying social injustices, it is clear that without doing so the crisis cannot be overcome.

Tackling inequalities is a long-standing global promise, the urgency of which has only increased. In 2015, all countries pledged to reduce inequalities within and between countries as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026: End Inequalities, End AIDS and the Political Declaration on AIDS adopted at the 2021 United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS have ending inequalities at their core.

Find out more about World AIDS Day 2021.

Unequal, unprepared, under threat

UNAIDS issued a stark warning that if leaders fail to tackle inequalities the world could face 7.7 million AIDS-related deaths over the next 10 years. UNAIDS further warns that if the transformative measures needed to end AIDS are not taken, the world will also stay trapped in the COVID-19 crisis and remain dangerously unprepared for the pandemics to come. The warning comes in a new report by UNAIDS entitled Unequal, unprepared, under threat: why bold action against inequalities is needed to end AIDS, stop COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics.

Woman and man

Over the years, a detailed understanding of the HIV epidemic has emerged through the collection, analysis and dissemination of data, helping programmes to reach the right people in the right place and at the right time. Having high-quality data on the AIDS response has enabled ambitious, measurable and time-bound targets to be set for tracking progress and ensuring accountability.

 

AIDS campaign 2019

Participate in this year's World AIDS Day by shining a light on inequalities and doing your part in helping to address them. Use the following materials on your digital platforms to show the world that inequalities cost lives and that it is time to end them. Check and share the campaign and social media materials created by UNAIDS for the #WorldAIDSDay.

 

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.