World AIDS Day 2019


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, 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.

UNAIDS has announced that the theme for World AIDS Day 2019 is Communities make the difference.

According to the UNAIDS Data 2019 report, an estimated 770,000 people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2018. There were an estimated 37.9 million people with HIV around the world in 2018.

On a national scale, the Public Health Agency of Canada estimated that at the end of 2016 there were 63,110 Canadians with HIV. An estimated 86%% of the people in Canada with HIV were diagnosed and aware they had HIV. This means that an estimated 14% of people with HIV were undiagnosed at the end of 2016.

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.

This year for World AIDS Day, the Public Health Agency of Canada has also created a Resource Toolkit that includes information and links to a variety of new awareness products, including new infographics on treatment as prevention, 2018 surveillance data on HIV, and social media messages.

Reaching the first 90: how HIV self-testing can help us end the HIV epidemic

Canada has signed on to the global 90-90-90 targets to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. The aim of these targets is to diagnose at least 90% of all people living with HIV, provide treatment for 90% of those diagnosed, and for 90% of people on treatment to have an undetectable viral load by 2020. However, Canada is falling short on the first 90, lagging behind other similar countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia. An estimated 86% of Canadians living with HIV have been diagnosed. That means that the other 14%, or over 9,000 Canadians, are living with HIV and don’t know it!

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HIV/AIDS in Canada

This infographic poster is based on 2016 estimates from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

For a summary of the most recent estimates for HIV infections in Canada, see Summary: Estimates of HIV incidence, prevalence and Canada’s progress on meeting the 90-90-90 HIV targets, 2016.

This infographic poster is based on 2016 estimates from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

HIV/AIDS in Canada - Infographic Poster

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

Additional resources include:

Order resources for World AIDS Day 2019

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




Get more information about HIV/AIDS

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

I know my HIV status – Basic information about HIV testing

The Power of Undetectable – What you need to know about HIV treatment as prevention

PrEP to prevent HIV: Your questions answered – Basic information about pre-exposure prophylaxis

8 Questions About PrEP for Guys  – Basic information about pre-exposure prophylaxis for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men

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

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 and the Sexuality Education Resource Centre MB

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

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 Treatment Action Council (CTAC)

CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN)

realize formerly Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)


Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)


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

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

WHO and HIV – 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.

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.