World AIDS Day 2019

Group of children, peeking out window and smiling

December 1 is World AIDS Day, an opportunity to unite in our efforts to stop HIV, support those affected by HIV, and remember those who have lost their lives to HIV-related diseases. CDC first called attention to what is now known as AIDS in 1981, and this year is the 31st observance of World AIDS Day.

This year’s theme, Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community, draws attention to the importance of tailoring efforts for, by, and in communities. Through its domestic and global HIV programs, CDC helps communities select the most effective tools to diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond to this disease.

Now is the time to #EndHIV

In the United States, this opportunity falls under the proposed multi-agency federal initiativeexternal icon led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. If funded, CDC will work closely with other HHS agencies and on-the-ground teams to expand key HIV prevention strategies. Initially, the focus will be on the local areas that account for over half of new HIV cases and the seven states with substantial rural HIV cases. Already, health departments are creating local plans, and CDC began working with them in November so funds, if made available, can be used to implement activities as soon as possible.

In addition, CDC has been part of U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), since it launched in 2003 and transformed the global HIV/AIDS response. When PEPFAR began, only 50,000 people with HIV were on treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, PEPFAR supports more than 14.6 million people with lifesaving antiretroviral treatment—with 8 million served by CDC partners.  According to the data, several African countries, including Namibia and Rwanda, are in fact on track to achieve HIV achieve epidemic controlexternal icon by 2020.

Baby in Uganda receiving care
CDC is working with partners in the U.S. and around the world to achieve a future free of HIV.

Data-Driven Efforts Empower Communities to #EndHIV

The most successful efforts adapt to the needs of those affected by HIV, which is how CDC continues to be at the forefront of innovations in screening for new infections, treating those with HIV, and stopping AIDS-related deaths. This work is essential to achieving the proposed federal initiative and PEPFAR’s goalspdf iconexternal icon in its strategy.

Data-driven decisions have already put resources where they can have the greatest impact. For example, CDC’s domestic HIV efforts implement a high-impact prevention approach, which uses scientifically proven, cost-effective interventions targeted to the right populations and geographic areas. Communities have access to national, state and local surveillance data through CDC’s AtlasPlus database.

Similarly, in PEPFAR-supported countries, CDC promotes evidence-based planning and helps countries enhance the quality and interpretation of data collected through national systems. By working side-by-side with its partners, CDC has supported more than 15 population-based impact assessmentsexternal icon in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Overseas, these surveys are the most comprehensive available evaluations of HIV outcomes and impacts. Incorporating the work of CDC and other federal agencies, PEPFAR’s Dashboardexternal icon publishes both targets and results for multiple indicators, and data are available at the national and sub-national levels.

Everyone can help #EndHIV

In the United States, healthcare providers can:

  • Routinely provide HIV testing to all people aged 13 to 64, according to CDC guidelines. Provide HIV treatment as soon as possible after an HIV diagnoses.
  • Prescribe PrEP for people who at risk for getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.

Government agencies and nonprofit organizations can:

  • Expand access to HIV testing, including use of self-care kits.
  • Improve HIV treatment by strengthening HIV care and support networks.
  • Promote PrEP in communities and to the populations that need it the most.

Everyone can:

  • Learn more about HIV
  • Talk about HIV, including treatment as prevention, to help reduce stigma.
  • Stay healthy by talking to your health care provider and taking daily HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV, if advised.
Page last reviewed: November 29, 2019