Friday, December 1, marks the 35th annual Worlds AIDS Day, a time for people across the globe to remember those lost to the pandemic, honor those fighting HIV and living with the virus and raise awareness of and support efforts to end AIDS.

“This year’s theme—‘World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit’—pays tribute to those we have lost to HIV/AIDS. The impact of this epidemic has been profound, affecting individuals, families and entire communities across the globe,” according to “Remembering the lives lost not only honors their memory but also emphasizes the urgency of our commitment to end the HIV epidemic.…

“The other aspect of this year’s theme, ‘Commit,’ emphasizes our collective responsibility to act. Each one of us can make a difference, whether through working to improve health equity and ending the disparities in access to prevention, care and treatment; promoting scientific education and awareness; or supporting organizations that work tirelessly to serve those at risk [for] and living with HIV—we need a whole of society response to win.”

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Countless in-person and virtual events take place worldwide to commemorate the annual event. Search #WorldAIDSDay2023 on social media to find ones near you, along with awareness campaigns and messages of support; several examples are embedded throughout this article. You can also peruse a calendar of events and related articles on POZ by clicking #World AIDS Day.

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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released a fact sheet on global HIV statistics you can download here. It reads in part:

• 39 million [between 33.1 million and 45.7 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2022. Of these:

– 37.5 million [31.8 million–43.6 million] were adults (15 years or older).

– 1.5 million [1.2 million–2.1 million] were children (0–14 years).

– 53% were women and girls.

– 86% [73–98%] knew their HIV status in 2022.

• 1.3 million [1 million–1.7 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2022.

• 630,000 [480,000–880,000] people died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2022.

• At the end of December 2022, 29.8 million people (76% [65–89%] of all people living with HIV) were accessing antiretroviral therapy, up from 7.7 million in 2010.

• 9.2 million people living with HIV did not have access to antiretroviral treatment in 2022.

Access to HIV treatment is not only lifesaving. People with HIV who achieve and maintain viral suppression also experience slower disease progression, enjoy better overall health and are less likely to develop opportunistic illnesses. What’s more, people with an undetectable viral load don’t transmit HIV to others through sex (dubbed treatment as prevention, or Undetectable Equals Untransmittable, or U=U).

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In the United States, 1.2 million people are estimated to be living with HIV, and about 13% don’t know it, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Slightly over 31,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2021. HIV incidence is disproportionately high in the South and among gay and bisexual men (notably Black and Latino men), a group that accounted for about 70% of new cases in 2021. Transgender women, African Americans, Latinos and injection drug users also experience higher rates of HIV.

“World AIDS Day arrives at a defining moment. AIDS-related deaths have fallen by almost 70% since their peak in 2004, and new HIV infections are at the lowest point since the 1980s. But AIDS still takes a life every minute,” said U.N. Secretary General António Guterres in a World AIDS Day statement, which you can watch below.


“We can—and must—end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Reaching this goal means heeding this year’s [UNAIDS report’s] theme: ‘Let Communities Lead.’ The path to ending AIDS runs through communities,” he continued. “From connecting people to the treatment, services and support they need to the grassroots activism pushing for action so all people can realize their right to health—supporting those on the front lines of the battle against AIDS is how we win.”

The UNAIDS report, Let Communities Lead, was released on the eve of this year’s World AIDS Day and touts the successes and importance of community-based organizations in the fight against HIV.

To learn more about HIV in the United States, visit, which creates interactive maps based on HIV data. On the site, you can:

  • See data on HIV and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use on AIDSVu’s interactive map.

  • Find available HIV testing, prevention and care services near you with AIDSVu’s service locators.

  • Read expert-led Q&A blogs to deepen your understanding of the history and impact of the HIV epidemic.

  • Share infographics with friends and family to raise awareness.

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Click on the POZ hashtag #World AIDS Day and you’ll find a 2023 calendar of events and headlines such as “World AIDS Day Through the Years” and “First Person Cured of HIV to Be Honored With a Star and Symposium.”