The first of December of each year marks World AIDS Day to encourage people worldwide to show support for those who are living with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. It is a day of remembrance for those who have died from the disease, according to WorldAIDSDay.org. World AIDS Day also promotes fundraising to help those with HIV or AIDS and raises awareness of the issue.
The purpose of World AIDS Day is to remind people that HIV remains a problem and of the necessity of raising money for the cause, eliminating prejudice, increasing awareness and improving HIV- and AIDS-prevention education, states WorldAIDSDay.org. Promotional events held on World AIDS Day include marathons, quizzes and bake sales whose proceeds go toward the National AIDS Trust to promote awareness and alert the public to the issue of HIV and AIDS throughout the world.
The red ribbon is the international symbol of HIV awareness, similar to the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon, states WorldAIDSDay.org. A group of 12 artists gathered in 1991 to think of a symbol for AIDS awareness, and they came up with the red ribbon. The World Health Organization’s World AIDS Day campaign aims to double access to HIV testing, provide antiretroviral therapy to those infected, promote awareness and prevent new infections by educating the uninformed, according to the WHI.