World AIDS Day 2013


About World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, December 1, which also launches the start of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada, is a time for reflection: on what we have achieved with regard to the national and global response to HIV, and what we still must achieve.

World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to commemorate those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus.

The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 after health ministers from around the world met in London, England and agreed to such a day as a way of highlighting the enormity of the AIDS pandemic and nations’ responsibility to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Led by the World AIDS Campaign organization, the theme for World AIDS Day 2013 is ”Getting to zero.” Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

According to the UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic 2013, 1.6 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2012. By 2012, an estimated 35.3 million people around the world were living with HIV.

On a national scale, an estimated 71,300 Canadians were living with HIV, and an estimated 3,175 new HIV infections occurred in 2011.  

We invite you to explore the information and resources on this page that may help you in your work and in your own acknowledgement of this special time.

What’s the prescription for an ‘AIDS-free’ Canada?

We have heard the phrase ‘AIDS-free generation’ and the theme of ‘Getting to Zero” for the last two years. But where does the world, and particularly Canada, sit in terms of getting closer to that goal?

Globally, there is good news. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2012, 13 countries, many in the African continent, showed an annual growth in the number of people on anti-retroviral therapy outpacing the number of new HIV infections. This ‘tipping point’ is a welcome development and an important step toward the ultimate goal of ‘getting to zero’: zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination. Read more...

Please feel free to republish the article in your organization’s print or electronic publication, or link directly to it on our site.

World AIDS Campaign

The World AIDS Campaign is a global coalition of national, regional and international civil society groups united by the call for governments to honour their AIDS commitments under the slogan “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise”

HIV/AIDS in Canada

Additional resources include:

Resources available from the CATIE Ordering Centre

World AIDS Day Suggested Resources - recommended educational resources to develop your own campaign activities


HIV/AIDS Resources

Canadian AIDS Society: IT'S NOT OVER – Fact sheets on HIV and aging in Canada:

HIV: The Basics – A plain and simple look at HIV and the immune system, staying healthy and protecting yourself and others

The Positive Side – Life stories by and for people with HIV

Video interviews with people living with HIV from the English charity DIPEx

Body Maps – Women with HIV who are leaders in the AIDS movement in their communities in Tanzania, Zambia, and Canada are coming together in workshops organized by CATIE and the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative to create startling and beautiful body maps

Youth-friendly sites

TeenHealthSource – A teen site from Planned Parenthood Toronto

YouthCO – HIV and hepatitis C peer support and advice for Canadian youth

Teen Talk – A site for youth from Klinic Community Health Centre, Winnipeg

Native Youth Sexual Health Network – An organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.

Go Ask Alice – Columbia University’s health Q&A internet service

SexualityandU – Sexuality education and information

Sex, etc. – Rutgers University's “by teens, for teens” web site

Info for Teens – Sexual health web site for teens by Planned Parenthood Federation of America

For information on HIV and AIDS in Canada and the rest of the world, check out these resources:



Canadian AIDS Aboriginal Network (CAAN)

Canadian AIDS Society (CAS)

Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR)

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN)

Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) Research and Development Alliance Coordinating Office (ACO)

Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC)

Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR)

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)


The AIDS Clock, created by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) has been ticking since 1997.

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2012

AVERT is an International HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK.

Blueprint for Action on Women & Girls and HIV/AIDS is a multi-sector coalition of HIV-positive women, Canadian and international HIV/AIDS organizations, and a variety of women’s and reproductive rights groups advocating for better prevention, services and supports for women and girls infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

International HIV/AIDS Alliance is a global partnership of nationally-based organizations working to support community action on AIDS in developing countries.

WHO and HIV/AIDS – As the directing and coordinating authority on international health, the World Health Organization (WHO) takes the lead within the UN system in the global health sector response to HIV/AIDS.

A brief history of HIV/AIDS

  • The disease is renamed Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  • It is realized that the infection can be sexually transmitted.
  • Cases are reported in haemophiliacs and blood transfusion recipients.
  • The first cases of AIDS are reported in Africa.
  • Canada reports its first case of AIDS in March.
  • It is discovered that women can become infected with AIDS through heterosexual sex.
  • Doctors in France isolate a virus –­ lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) – that they believe causes AIDS.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) begins global surveillance of AIDS.
  • Cases of AIDS are reported in Canada, fifteen European countries, Haiti, Zaire, seven Latin American countries, and Australia.
  • Canada forms a national task force on AIDS.
  • A heterosexual AIDS epidemic is reported in Africa.
  • The AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) initiates the first AIDS Awareness Week.
  • Doctors at the US National Cancer Institute identify a virus – human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) – they believe causes AIDS. A court case begins when it becomes evident that this is the same virus identified by French scientists in 1983.
  • The first International Conference on AIDS is held in Georgia, USA.
  • The Canadian Red Cross begins testing all blood products for HIV.
  • The first Canadian Conference on AIDS is held in Montreal.
  • The first commercial blood test for HIV is licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • It is discovered that HIV can be passed from mother to child through breast-feeding.
  • Rock Hudson becomes the first major public figure to die of AIDS.
  • The Canadian AIDS Society is established.
  • The first Canadian AIDS Research Conference is held in Toronto.
  • The FDA approves the first anti-retroviral drug, AZT.
  • Vancouver activist Kevin Brown, a founder of the Positive Living Society of British Columbia (formerly BCPWA), lobbies the federal government for access to AZT.
  • The WHO develops the first global strategy on AIDS.
  • AIDS becomes the first disease ever to be debated at the UN General Assembly.
  • Diana, Princess of Wales, is photographed touching a person living with AIDS, creating a media frenzy.
  • A world summit of health ministers from 148 countries is held in London, England to develop an AIDS strategy.
  • The Director-General of WHO announces that December 1st will be the first World AIDS day.
  • AIDS ACTION NOW! is founded in Toronto.
  • AIDS ACTION NOW! establishes the Treatment Information Exchange (TIE) and the federal Health Minister announces funding for a national treatment strategy as part of the National AIDS Strategy. The Emergency Drug Release Program opens up to allow access to unapproved treatments for AIDS-related conditions.
  • The AIDS ACTION NOW! TIE project becomes the independent organization Community AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE).
  • The Canadian HIV Trials Network is established.
  • The Canadian Association for HIV Research is founded.
  • A plan is formulated to replace WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS with the United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS).
  • Research shows that AZT reduces the risk of vertical transmission of HIV from mother to child by two-thirds during pregnancy.
  • The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) Principle was formalized at the 1994 Paris AIDS Summit when 42 countries agreed to “support a greater involvement of people living with HIV at all…levels…and to…stimulate the creation of supportive political, legal and social environments.”
  • The CDC announces that AIDS has become the leading cause of death among Americans aged 25–44 years.
  • The FDA approves a new family of anti-retroviral drugs – protease inhibitors.
  • The WHO estimates that approximately 18 million adults and 1.5 million children have been infected with HIV since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • CATIE is named a partner in the Canadian AIDS Strategy on HIV/AIDS, funded by Health Canada. CATIE takes over the national treatment registry project and assumes a national role.
  • The US reports that the number of AIDS-related deaths has dropped substantially for the first time.
  • UNAIDS estimates that the number of people living with HIV is 30 million, much higher than previously thought. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people worldwide are living with HIV, with only 1 in 10 of those knowing they are infected.
  • The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network is established.
  • The Canadian Treatment Action Council is established.
  • There is an explosive outbreak of HIV among injection drug users in Vancouver. The city becomes known as the place with the highest percentage of people living with HIV in the developed world.
  • Doctors start to notice the first drug-resistant strains of HIV.
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is pioneered in San Francisco.
  • The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation is established.
  • G8 Leaders endorse the International Development Targets for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
  • The United Nations Secretary General creates the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
  • CATIE changes its name to the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange.
  • HIV becomes the leading cause of death worldwide in people aged 15–59 years.
  • The WHO announces the “3 by 5” Initiative to bring treatment to 3 million people worldwide by 2005.
  • The World Trade Organization grants developing countries the right to buy generic life-saving medications.
  • The first officially sanctioned supervised injection site in North America opens in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
  • UNAIDS launches the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS to raise the visibility of the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls worldwide.
  • The WHO supports the provision of sterile injection equipment to reduce HIV transmission.
  • Health Canada approves a rapid HIV antibody test for sale to health professionals in Canada, which enables point-of-care (POC) testing that can provide an accurate HIV antibody test result in two minutes.
  • At the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, priorities include a focus on addressing HIV/AIDS in Africa and other hard hit regions of the world.
  • The UN convenes a follow-up meeting and issues progress report on the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
  • The 16th International AIDS Conference is held in Toronto.
  • The WHO and UNAIDS recommend that "male circumcision should always be considered as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package."
  • The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) is established as Canada’s contribution to the global efforts to develop a safe and effective HIV Vaccine.
  • UNAIDS calls for the implementation of programs to work toward the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.
  • The Vienna Declaration, a statement seeking to improve community health and safety by calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies, is launched at the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.
  • Results of the CAPRISA 004 trial are presented at the Vienna Conference. This is the first trial to provide evidence that the use of an antiretroviral-based microbicide gel (1% tenofovir) can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in women.
  • United States government lifts a ban in January barring HIV-positive persons from entering the country.
  • In July, at the Vienna Conference, the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announce their renewed commitment of up to $139 million to implement the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI).
  • 30 years since the first AIDS case was reported on June 5, 1981.
  • Science magazine names HIV Treatment as Prevention as its Breakthrough of the Year after the HPTN 052 study in serodiscordant couples (where one partner is HIV-positive and the other negative) showed that HIV treatment can significantly decrease the risk of transmission in heterosexual couples.
  • Results from the iPrEx study in men who have sex with men (MSM) and the TDF2 and Partners PrEP studies in heterosexual couples show that a daily pill containing tenofovir + FTC (Truvada) or tenofovir only (Viread) can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection. 
  • In a victory for evidence-based science, the Supreme Court of Canada rules that InSite, Vancouver's supervised injection site, can continue to operate without the continual threat of legal interference.
  • For the first time, WHO includes transgender people as a group at increased risk for HIV infection in their guidelines Prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men and transgender people.
  • The FDA in the United States approves Truvada (tenofovir plus FTC) for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in individuals at high-risk for HIV infection.
  • The International AIDS Conference is held in Washington D.C., the first time the conference has been held in the United States since 1990.   
  • New Canadian HIV guidelines for planning pregnancy are published to help health care practitioners advise HIV-positive people about issues related to fertility and pregnancy.
  • Despite growing scientific evidence that HIV treatment dramatically reduces the risk of transmission when the viral load is undetectable, the Supreme Court of Canada rules that an HIV-positive person has a legal duty to disclose his or her HIV status to a sexual partner before having any sex that poses a “realistic possibility” of HIV transmission. According to the ruling, a person living with HIV does not have to disclose his or her HIV status before having vaginal sex if a condom is used and the HIV-positive person has a “low” HIV viral load at the time of sex.
  • The US FDA approves the first home-based rapid test for HIV.

Canadian World AIDS Day events

Please let CATIE know if you are planning a World AIDS Day 2013 event by e-mailing

Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week

1-6 December



Strong Voices Gathering: Aboriginal people and HIV

Coast Plaza Hotel, 1316 33 Street NE
Thursday 5 December 5, 8.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.


Activités de la Fondation Madeleine-Sanam dans le cadre de la journée mondiale du Sida

27 November – 2 December

HIV Edmonton Celebrity Starbucks Barista Event for AIDS Awareness
Friday 29 November, 9.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.

Blood Brothers movie screening

Metro Garneau Cinema: 8712 109 Street
Sunday 1 December, 6.00 p.m.

Fort McMurray

HIV Awareness Week movie presentation: HIV and Exposing Injustice

Redpoll Centre, #200-10010 Franklin Avenue
Friday 29 November, 11.00 a.m.                                        

Keyano College Bob Lamb Building, 8115 Franklin Avenue
Friday 29 November, 2.00 p.m.

World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil

Family Christian Centre, 160 Dickins Drive
Sunday 1 December, 6.00 p.m.

Red Deer

Central Alberta AIDS Network Society and Primary Care Network, Red Deer: HIV Testing Campaign – Know Your Status

Street Clinic, 5017 49th Avenue
26 – 28 November,  9 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
Contact Kristol Gallivan (403-346-8858) or Candice Berry  (403-598-4652)  

British Columbia

B.C. World AIDS Day and AIDS Awareness Week Events 2013


Hiiye'yu Lelum – House of Friendship Peer Educators Celebration Dinner

Sunday 1 December, 5.00 – 8.00 p.m.


World AIDS Day Event: Awareness, Celebration, Commemoration

St Paul's Hospital, Outside Cafeteria, 4th Floor Providence Building
Friday 29 November, 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Voices of Hope Concert for World AIDS Day

Christ Church Cathedral, West Georgia and Burrard
Friday 29 November, 7.00 p.m.

Friday, November 29, 2013 at 7pm
Friday, November 29, 2013 at 7pm
Friday, November 29, 2013 at 7pm
Friday, November 29, 2013 at 7pm

Dr Peter Centre and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Event
Human Rights, Global Lessons, Grass Roots Perspectives: Indigenous People and HIV and AIDS

The Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Art Studies, Simon Fraser University, 639 Hornby Street
Friday 6 December, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Contact Trevor Stratton (416-999-3250)



Ka Ni Kanichihk and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Event: Women “Getting to Zero” Community Sharing Circle

Ka Ni Kanichihk, 455 McDermot Street
Wednesday 4 December, 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Contact Adina Lakser (204-958-5820) or Carol Moar (204-997-5035)

Newfoundland and Labrador

St John's

The Rocket Room, Rocket Bakery, 272 Water Street
Monday 2 December, 2.30 – 5.00 p.m.

Nova Scotia


Healing our Nations and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week 2013 Launch Event

Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, Hollis Street
Sunday 1 December, 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Register online

AIDS Candlelight Vigil

Italian Canadian Cultural Association of Nova Scotia, 2629 Agricola Street
Sunday 1 December, 7.00 p.m.


World AIDS Day Vigil

St. John's Anglican Church, 25 Church Street
Friday 29 November, 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.



Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Celebration

AIDS Support Chatham-Kent, 67 Adelaide Street South
Tuesday 3 December, 12.30 p.m.


AIDS Committee of Guelph and Wellington County AIDS Awareness Week Events

Contact Sarah (519-763-2255 ext. 135)

E-Bar, 41 Quebec Street
Monday 25 November, 6.00 p.m.

Trivia Night

Sip Club, 91 Wyndham Street North
Wednesday 27 November, 11.00 p.m.

It’s Time to get Tested!

Lakeside Hope House, 75 Norfolk Street
Thursday 28 November,  3.00 – 7.00 p.m.

Red Hot Drag Show!

Red Papaya, 55 Wyndham Street North
Thursday 28 November,  9.00 p.m.

Interactive Multi-Media Display of Exhibits

Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Friday 29 November,  2.00 – 8.00 p.m.

That's My Drag: Behind the Red Curtain – Fundraiser for the AIDS Committee of Guelph & Wellington County

Red Papaya, 55 Wyndham Street North
Saturday 30 November,  8.30 p.m.

HIV/AIDS in Our Communities: Local, Regional & Global Display and Information Table

Planet Bean, 2 Wyndham Street North
Sunday 1 December 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.


Regional HIV/AIDS Connection Red Scarf Project

Covent Garden Market
Monday 25 November

Regional HIV/AIDS Connection Lighting of the Red Tree Lights

Victoria Park, NW corner
Friday 29 November, 6.50 p.m.

World AIDS Day Vigil

Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas Street
Sunday 1 December, 6.30 – 8.00 p.m.


Peel HIV/AIDS Network World AIDS Day

Frank McKechnie Community Centre, 310 Bristol Road East
Friday 29 November, 5.00 – 8.00 p.m.
Contact Adam Chalcraft (905 361 0523 ext. 217)


Ottawa AIDS Awareness Week Events

Monday 25 November – Monday 2 December

CAS World AIDS Day Gala: ROUGE

Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street
Thursday 28 November, 6.00 p.m.

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Interagency Coalition on AIDS & Development (ICAD) and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Parliamentary Breakfast

Parliamentary Dining Room 6th floor of Centre Block at Parliament Hill
Tuesday 3 December, 7.30 – 8.45 a.m.
Contact Ken Clement (604-266-7616) or Kate Alexander (613-233-7440 ext 110)


World AIDS Day Vigil

Community of Christ Church, 226 Forman Avenue
Saturday 30 November, 7.00 – 8.30 p.m.

Thunder Bay

AIDS Thunder Bay Annual World AIDS Day Breakfast

The Victoria Inn, West Arthur Street
Friday 29 November, 7.30 – 8.30 a.m.
Contact Bob Manson


Youth World AIDS Day Event

Central Toronto Community Health Centre (Queen West CHC), 168 Bathurst Street
Tuesday 26 November, 6.00 – 8.00 p.m.

University of Toronto World AIDS Day 2013

University of Toronto Schools Auditorium, 371 Bloor Street West
Wednesday 27 November 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) fundraising event: LOVE & FORTUNE

Finch, Sheppard and Wellesley TTC subway stations
Thursday 28 November, 3.30 C 6.30 p.m.

The Philadelphia Project: A staged reading

The Cat's Eye in Goldring Student Centre, 150 Charles Street West, Victoria College
28–30 November, 8.00 p.m.

Comunity Carnation Memorial

519 Community Centre
Friday 29 November, 5.45 p.m.

Africa's Children-Africa's Future World AIDS Day Event

Toronto TTC stations
Friday 29 and Saturday 30 November

Red Ribbon Human Link 2013 – a multicultural awareness walk

St. Stephen’s Community House, 91 Bellevue Avenue
Saturday 30 November 30, 2.00 p.m.
Contact  Nancy Sun  416-925-2103 ext. 227

Voices of Hope Concert for World AIDS Day

Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East.
Saturday 30 November 30, 4.00 p.m.

Still Here: A symposium on living with HIV/AIDS in Canada

91 Charles Street West, Victoria College
Sunday 1 December, 9.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.

Awards for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: A Benefit for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street
Sunday 1 December, 7.00 p.m.

2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations, Union of Ontario Indians, Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Event: Two Spirit People and HIV and AIDS

Courtyard Marriot (University Room), 475 Yonge Street
Thursday 5 December,10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Contact Tony Nobis (416-944-9300 ext 225)


AIDS Candlight Vigil

Art Gallery of Windsor, 401 Riverside Drive West
Sunday 1 December, 7.00 p.m.


Kahnawake Mohawk Territory

Kahnawake Youth Forum and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Event
A Rising Onkwehonwe Generation: No More Stigma, Shame, and Discrimination!

Kateri School, Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Kahnawake 14
Monday 2 December, 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.
Contact Jessica Danforth (; 920-883-2821)


Voix D'Espoir Voices of Hope Concert for World AIDS Day

Église St. Andrew et St. Paul, Sherbrooke Ouest Angle Redpath
Friday 29 November, 7.30 p.m.

AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) Cabaret de GL'AMOUR

Facebook / Tumblr

Café Cléopâtre, 1230 boulevard St-­Laurent
Sunday 1 December, 7.30 p.m.
Contact (514-529-9462)


Le Centre Sida Amitié : World AIDS Day education and information for local people 

Corner of rue de Martigny and boulevard Monseigneur-Dubois
Tuesday 26 November, 4 .00 – 5.00 p.m.
Contact Julie Beaulieu (450-431-7432)


Sasktchewan World AIDS Day, AIDS Awareness Week and  Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Events

Prince Albert

Prince Albert Métis Women’s Association and Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week Event
Sharing Circle for Women: Beading Symbols of Hope for Our Community

Prince Albert Métis Women’s Association; Suite 8/54, 10 Street East
Wednesday 4 December, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Contact Lindsay Seesequasis (306-763-5356)


All Nations Hope Feast, Round Dance & Give Away

Feast: The Place, 2735 5th Avenue, 1.00 p.m.
Round Dance & Give Away: Core Ritchie Neighborhood Centre, 445 14th Avenue
Friday 6 December, 6.00 p.m.