World AIDS Day – December 1

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red sign saying AIDS is still a leading cause of death in many parts of the world leaving children orphans

What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide 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. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Why is World AIDS Day Important?

Over 105,200 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Women and girls living with HIV may have no symptoms for years. Even if HIV causes no symptoms, it is still hurting your body’s immune system, or defense system against illnesses. People living with HIV need to get treatment as early as possible.

HIV can spread: during sex (especially anal sex and vaginal sex) through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing. by getting stuck with a needle with an infected person’s blood on it.

HIV is transmitted through seminal and vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids. The virus can enter the body through the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.

If a person gives fellatio and has bleeding gums, a cut, or an ulcer inside their mouth, HIV could enter their bloodstream through infected fluid. This could also happen if infected fluid from a woman gets into the mouth of her partner during oral sex.

Yes, girls can transmit this virus, but the risk is relatively low. HIV is transmitted through seminal and vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids. The virus can enter the body through the bloodstream or by passing through delicate mucous membranes, such as inside the vagina, rectum or urethra.

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 in the UK over 4,139 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.

What can I do on World AIDS Day?

Buy a Red Ribbon

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. You can order a red ribbon from our online shop, or pick one up in any branch of MAC Cosmetics in the UK.

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.

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