World AIDS Day, observed each year on December 1, marks an opportunity for people across the globe to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and commemorate people who have died. Here are some World AIDS Day milestones.


The World Health Organization (WHO) launches World AIDS Day.


Day with(out) art logo

Visual AIDS launches Day With(out) Art. The annual event was established to make the public aware that AIDS affects everyone.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launches the Business Responds to AIDS program to help large and small businesses meet the challenges of HIV/AIDS in the workplace and the community.


With support from the United Colors of Benetton, ACT UP Paris slips a giant pink condom over the city’s Luxor Obelisk, located in the center of the Place de la Concorde.


The first official observation of World AIDS Day at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco takes place.


The WHO launches “3 by 5,” an initiative to bring treatment to 3 million people by 2005.


Gwen Barringer and Shawn Decker

Gwen Barringer and Shawn DeckerJonathan TImmes

Serodiscordant couple Shawn Decker and Gwenn Barringer stage a “bed-in” at a Kenneth Cole store in Grand Central Station to commemorate World AIDS Day and raise awareness about safer sex.


Lady Gaga, Usher, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake

Lady Gaga, Usher, Alicia Keys and Justin TimberlakeShutterstock

Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Usher, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake (pictured) join the “Digital Life Sacrifice” campaign and pledge to log off Facebook and Twitter on World AIDS Day until Keep a Child Alive raises $1 million for its programs.


The New York City World AIDS Day Coalition launches the “End AIDS NY 2020” campaign to end AIDS and reduce new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020.


NYC AIDS Memorial

NYC AIDS Memorialistock

The New York City AIDS Memorial, a tribute to the over 100,000 New Yorkers who have died of AIDS-related illness, is unveiled at a public dedication on World AIDS Day.


Union jack flag celebrating the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan markle.

Ink Drop/

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit a Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair in Nottingham, England. The event marks their first public appearance as an engaged couple.


Five trucks with large LED billboards drive around New York City displaying quotes by activists, artists, educators, poets and people living with HIV for an “interactive art experience” titled #LightTheFight. The project is a collaboration between artist Jenny Holzer and the NYC AIDS Memorial Arts and Education Initiative.