World AIDS Day 2016


What is 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, WAD Imageand 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.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2016 is Hands Up for #HIV Prevention.

According to the AIDS by the numbers 2016 report from UNAIDS, 1.1 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2015. By the end of 2015, an estimated 36.7 million people around the world were living with HIV.

On a national scale, an estimated 75,500 Canadians were living with HIV, and an estimated 2,570 new HIV infections occurred in 2014.  

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.

Spreading the good news about HIV treatment and prevention

Good news? On this World AIDS Day, 2016, there is a lot to report.

The science of treatment and prevention has much to inspire agencies delivering needed services to people living with, and at risk of, HIV. 

We know that there are significant health benefits for people with HIV to begin treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Early treatment with good adherence in order to maintain an undetectable viral load allows an HIV-positive person to live a long and healthy life. A ground-breaking study called START (Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment) found that immediate treatment upon an HIV diagnosis significantly reduced the risk of serious illness. Read more...

We invite you to share with others, either by republishing or linking to it. If you do, we’d love to know: Please contact

HIV in 2016: A year in review

World AIDS Day around the world

UNAIDS, the United Nations agency responsible for the global HIV/AIDS response, has launched a World AIDS Day campaign which explores different aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women, key populations and people living with HIV. You can download campaign materials here.

HIV/AIDS in Canada

This infographic poster is based on 2014 estimates from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

HIV/AIDS in Canada - Infographic Poster

HIV/AIDS in Canada [Order online]

This infographic is based on 2014 estimates from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Additional resources include:

Order resources for World AIDS Day 2016

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


Get more information about HIV/AIDS

2016 World AIDS Day Campaign: #SexHappens – Canadian AIDS Society
Order your Canadian AIDS Society World AIDS Day posters

HIV Basics – The basics on HIV transmission, testing and treatment

Five Ways That HIV Is Different Now – International AIDS Society

How Can I Prevent HIV Transmission? (Infographic) –

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

Starting HIV treatment: Personal stories

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.

Sex & U – Sexuality education and information

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

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)

realize formerly Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)


Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

AIDS by the numbers – UNAIDS

Get on the fast track-track – the life-cycle approach to HIV – UNAIDS

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

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 history of HIV/AIDS

A timeline of some of the important Canadian and international developments that have occurred over the history of the HIV epidemic.

What's happening in your community for World AIDS Day?

A listing of World AIDS Day events across Canada.