World AIDS Day, which falls on 1 December every year, serves as an annual reminder of the global HIV and AIDS epidemic, with this year marking 40 years since the first reported cases of HIV-related illnesses and deaths. The most recent worldwide report of the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that 37.7 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2020. Around 27.5 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy, up from 6.4 million in 2009. Approximately 1.5 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2020 and there were around 680,000 AIDS-related deaths worldwide last year.
People living with HIV can experience more severe outcomes and have higher comorbidities from COVID-19 than people not living with HIV. In mid-2021, many people living with HIV, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines.
More information about the campaign is available on the World AIDS Day website.