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World AIDS Day 2022

01 Dec 2022

World AIDS day takes place each year on 1 December to unite people across the world in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and commemorate those that have lost their lives from an AIDS-related illness.

Nowadays, the term AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is less commonly used and instead 'late stage' or 'advanced' HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are preferred terms. Thanks to the success of HIV treatments, it is less common for serious HIV related illnesses to develop. However, HIV remains a global public health crisis that affects millions of people worldwide.

  • There are an estimated 105,200 people in the UK living with HIV.
  • 98% of these people are on effective treatment and 97% can't pass on the virus to others.
  • People can still present with advanced HIV diseases anywhere in the world, including the UK.
  • No effective vaccine to prevent transmission of the virus has as yet been developed.

Despite significant progress in recent decades, progress towards goals to end HIV goals have been hindered over the last few years by the COVID-19 pandemic. HIV services have been disrupted and resources for tackling the virus have reduced, leaving millions of lives at risk as a result.

Recent research in the UK by the National AIDS Trust revealed:

  • 63% of the UK public don’t remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past 6 months
  • 1 in 5 people think you can acquire HIV through kissing
  • Only 33% said they have sympathy for those living with HIV, regardless of how they acquired it
  • Only 16% of people knew that if someone is on effective treatment, they can’t pass HIV on and can expect to live a long and healthy life

World AIDS day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about HIV and fight the stigma experienced by those living with HIV.

The key messages for this year's campaign are:

1. Re-commit to reduce spread and end HIV

  • We need to renew our efforts to end HIV as a public health threat by the year 2030 despite ongoing inequalities and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Focus on equality

  • We need to ensure that everyone, everywhere has equal access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.
  • We need to end stigma and discrimination towards those living with HIV.

3. Concentrate on those left behind

  • We need to renew our focus on countries and populations that are still missing out on the global response to HIV and AIDS, including 'key' populations and people who remain at high risk.
  • key populations of people who are at increased risk of HIV include men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs; people in prisons and sex workers

Further information on World Aids Day campaigns can be accessed via the following links:

More information is available on fitfortravel on:

Links to other HIV resources (UK):