World AIDS Day 2009

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World AIDS Day 2009

01 December 2009


2009 marks the 21st anniversary of World AIDS Day. Every year, on the first of December the world comes together to commemorate those who have died and to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic.

This year’s theme “Human Rights and Universal Access” addresses the critical need to protect human rights and ensure universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The day is also a call to countries to remove laws that discriminate against people living with HIV, women and marginalized groups. A series of events are planned globally to mark the Day.


World AIDS Day statements

Every year UN agencies, governments and all sectors of civil society worldwide join together to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS.

Read World AIDS Day statements


International Labour Organization marks World AIDS Day

1 December 2009

About one hundred officials gathered today to form a human red ribbon to commemorate and celebrate World AIDS Day at the International Labour Organization (ILO) headquarters in Geneva on 1 December.

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UNHCR chief pledges to keep AIDS response a priority

1 December 2009

As the world marked World Aids Day on Tuesday, UNHCR’s chief, António Guterres, noted that the UN Refugee Agency had expanded its global HIV and AIDS interventions. Guterres, while reiterating his personal commitment to keeping AIDS a priority for UNHCR, also stressed that his agency would continue to advocate for the abolishment of laws discriminating against those with HIV.

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Michel Sidibé calls for mass prevention movement at World AIDS Day commemoration in Pretoria

1 December 2009

To mark World AIDS Day, UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé joined President Jacob Zuma and South Africans in their national commemoration in Pretoria where he called for the forging of a mass prevention movement.

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Read President Zuma's speech
Read Michel Sidibé's speech
Photo gallery


UN Secretary-General, Naomi Watts, Kenneth Cole, Oscar Winner Susan Sarandon and Others Highlight Human Rights at World AIDS Day “LIGHT FOR RIGHTS” Event in New York City

Commemorating World AIDS Day 2009, lights on the historic Washington Square Park Memorial Arch and other landmarks in New York City are being turned off at 6:15 pm tonight at an event to remember those lost to AIDS, and turned back on to emphasize human rights for those living with HIV/AIDS around the globe.

Read press release
Photo gallery


Laws that criminalize groups and behaviours threaten to jeopardize universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support

On World AIDS Day, as we reflect on universal access and human rights, UNAIDS calls on governments to refrain from passing criminal laws that fuel discrimination, prevent effective national responses to HIV and violate human rights.

Read statement


Shining light on rights this World AIDS Day in New York

To focus on the human rights of people living with HIV, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be joined UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Naomi Watts, Kenneth Cole, chairman, board of trustees, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, New York City Speaker of the City Council Christine C. Quinn, and 13-year-old AIDS activist Keren Dunaway-Gonzalez in New York City.

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Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention

Defined during a technical consultation co-organised by GNP+ and UNAIDS in April 2009, Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention is a new framework based on a human rights approach. It reinforces the leadership of people living with HIV in the design, programming, implementation, research, monitoring and evaluation of all policies and programmes that affect them. GNP+ is releasing the official report of the meeting during World AIDS Day 2009.

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Download report


Red Ribbon Award calls for nominations to honour community leadership and action on AIDS

On this year’s World AIDS Day the UNAIDS family and the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) are announcing a global call for nominations for the 2010 Red Ribbon Award. The Award honours community-based organisations for their contributions in responding to the AIDS epidemic.

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Geneva celebrates positive living on World AIDS Day

1 December 2009

If you are one of the 4 million travellers landing in Geneva airport this week, you will surely notice the gigantic red ribbons at the arrival and departure levels of a city that has chosen to join forces with UNAIDS and the myriad civil society organizations to draw attention to Human Rights and World AIDS Day.

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World Bank on World AIDS Day: HIV as key development issue

1 December 2009

To mark World AIDS Day this year the World Bank is hosting an event in Washington DC which brings together a wide range of international partners and high-level guests to explore key issues in the challenge to HIV. Entitled Keeping the promise, Investing in the future: Linking HIV/AIDS, food security and maternal and child health, the gathering will examine AIDS as a central development issue, forging critical links between the epidemic and broader development goals.

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Taking World AIDS Day to the airwaves

To mark 2009 World AIDS Day a special amateur radio station 4U1AIDS will operate from UNAIDS Secretariat headquarters in Geneva from 1-7 December 2009 and will be broadcast all over the world via the amateur radio network. The initiative is to encourage radio amateurs all around the globe to participate in World AIDS Day.

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World AIDS Day to be marked by UNAIDS Office in Washington

In collaboration with twenty-six civil society organizations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank, UNAIDS is hosting a luncheon on 1 December which completes a policy forum series on HIV, human rights and key at-risk populations.

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What does living with HIV mean to me?

There are an estimated 33.4 million people around the world living with HIV. As we gather around the globe this World AIDS Day to collectively commemorate, celebrate and speak out, it is important to not lose sight of the individuals behind the numbers and to remember the very real impact HIV has on people’s lives. This is Raffaele’s story.

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Data shows progress needed on HIV testing and treatment for children and mothers

30 November 2009

National efforts to combat AIDS, particularly by preventing mother-to-child transmission, are showing positive results, but many HIV and AIDS affected children still struggle to have their basic needs met, according to a report launched today by four United Nations agencies.

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New HIV recommendations to improve health, reduce infections and save lives

30 November 2009

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing new recommendations on treatment, prevention and infant feeding in the context of HIV, based on the latest scientific evidence.

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Cricketers help raise AIDS awareness

30 November 2009

On the eve of World AIDS Day, some of the world's best-known cricketers called for the international cricket community to continue to support calls for greater awareness to help continue the fight against HIV. Cricketers like Nathan Bracken, Isa Guha, Kumar Sangakkara, Graeme Smith and Virender Sehwag came together to champion the THINK WISE campaign which helps to raise awareness about HIV amongst the cricket community. All international cricketers will also wear red ribbons in matches being playes over the next few days.

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UK rollout The People Living with HIV Stigma Index

30 November 2009

An index that documents the stigma experienced by people living with HIV in the country has been launched at the Houses of Parliament, London, United Kingdom. Speakers at the launch included His Excellency Kenneth Kaunda, First President of the Republic of Zambia, Rt. Hon Andy Burnham MP; Secretary of State for Health, and Annie Lennox, singer and founder of The SING Campaign and members of the community research team.

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Eight-year trend shows new HIV infections down by 17%

24 November 2009

Data released by UNAIDS and the WHO highlights that beyond the peak and natural course of the epidemic HIV prevention programmes are making a difference. According to 2009 AIDS epidemic update, new HIV infections have been reduced by 17% over the past eight years.

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Press release
Webcast and photos from launch press conference


UNAIDS Outlook 2010: Fresh perspectives

24 November 2009

At the moment globally five people are becoming infected with HIV for every two people accessing treatment. It is critical that the way we respond keeps pace with and overtakes the epidemic if we are to see a real change in people’s lives, aspirations and futures. UNAIDS Outlook 2010, a new publication launched today, explores new ideas and provides fresh perspectives on the 2009 epidemiological data.

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