World AIDS Day 2018


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 2018 is Know your status.

According to the UNAIDS Data 2018 report, an estimated 940,000 people worldwide died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. There were an estimated 36.9 million people with HIV around the world in 2017.

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.

What’s coming up in HIV prevention and treatment?

Only five years ago, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) had not been approved in Canada. Public health messaging on sexual transmission risk with an undetectable viral load was still indecisive. And many people living with HIV were still being advised to delay treatment until their CD4 count started to decline.

All of that has now changed in Canada. PrEP was approved by Health Canada in 2016, Canadian public health leaders now say that “undetectable equals untransmittable”, and clinical guidelines now recommend offering HIV treatment upon diagnosis to maximize long-term health and survival.

With such rapid developments over such a short period of time, it’s not unrealistic to expect even more dramatic developments to come in the near future. We asked our experts in HIV prevention, testing and treatment what innovations are emerging or might be next on the horizon. Here’s what they said.

Read more.

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 2018

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

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

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)


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.









































































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