World AIDS Day is held on December 1st every year. It's an international day to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS around the world. The first World AIDS Day was celebrated in 1988. This year’s theme for the day is “human rights and access to treatment" and was chosen to address the critical need to protect human rights and make HIV prevention, treatment, care and support accessible to all. The theme acts as a call to countries to remove laws that discriminate against people living with HIV.
According to new data in the 2009 AIDS epidemic update, new HIV infections have been reduced by 17% over the past eight years. Since 2001, when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed, the number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 15% lower, which is about 400,000 fewer infections in 2008.