World AIDS Day – December 1st

  • Published on: Dec 01, 2022
Graphic with green, gray, red and black hands raised with hearts in the centre, with the title World AIDS Day December 1.

ARIDO is marking December 1st, World AIDS Day, and the start of Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week

World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 to recognize the progress made on the national and global response to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and what is still left to do. There are an estimated 38 million people living with HIV around the world and 62,050 people in Canada. 

Despite the progress made in AIDS and HIV research, they remain critical issues. Studies have also shown that inequitable access to healthcare affects the care and support Canadians receive, their understanding of the virus, and whether they know their HIV status. 

HIV/AIDS is not a historic illness, it remains a threat. December 1st is also the first day of Indigenous AIDS Awareness Week (#IAAW), a week to raise awareness about the intersectionality of health issues and the barriers to accessing care faced by many Indigenous people. It’s also a week which has been championed by Indigenous leaders and Elders to focus on improving care, health outcomes, and providing culturally relevant healthcare to Indigenous people living with HIV. 

UNAIDS has several goals which target the stigma around HIV, the barriers to getting tested, and knowing one’s own HIV status, and ensuring individuals have access to person-centred care, which is “efficient, effective, equitable, and responsive”. 

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is ‘Equalize’. UNAIDS is urging countries to address the inequities which are preventing an end to AIDS. UNAIDS believes part of the solution is increasing the availability and quality of services to people living with HIV and changing laws, policies, and practices to address the stigma and exclusion faced by people living with HIV. 

When we consider how much progress in science has been made since 1988, there is so much to celebrate, especially as the understanding of HIV and stigma has been reduced. UNAIDS believes their goal of ending AIDS by 2030 is achievable, but only if there is continued support of the fight to end HIV. 

Below: Graphic by CATIE Canada's source for HIV and hepatitis C information on Canada's progress toward global AIDS targets

In 2014 ARIDO partnered with Fife House for the 2014 ROI Project to improve the interior environment of Denison, the original Fife House residence that provides a housing program and 24-hour support services to 5 individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The Denison site also serves as the central point for services provided to an additional 18 HIV+ women and men living in scattered sites in the area.




Resources and Events for Learning

‘Others' Short Film from Casey House which reflects on the stigma related to HIV

Online Course ‘Introduction to HIV’ provided by Fife House

Open courses by CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange)

Events recognizing World AIDS Day across Ontario gathered by CATIE

UNAIDS 25 Targets to end AIDS by 2030