World AIDS Day 2023


Each year on December 1st, CDC joins the global community to observe World AIDS Day, a day in which we raise awareness about HIV and recommit to improving the lives of people impacted by this disease worldwide. The theme for this year’s observance, “World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit,” calls on communities around the world to remember and honor lives lost to HIV-related illnesses and commit to efforts that end HIV as a global health threat.

On this World AIDS Day, we recognize the remarkable impact of PEPFAR over the last two decades. In that time, PEPFAR has saved 25 million lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and supported more than 20 million people on lifesaving HIV treatment worldwide. CDC has played a critical role at every step.

PEPFAR Through the Years

CDC identifies a rare lung infection that it later calls “acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)”
CDC First Recognizes “AIDS”
CDC launches the Retrovirus Côte d’Ivoire (CDC Retro-CI) project led by CDC’s new field office in Abidjan to research some of the most important questions about HIV worldwide
Early Field Station
3.7 million people report contracting the illness worldwide
Peak of New HIV Infections Worldwide
Effort further advances the United States’ leadership in the global fight against HIV
CDC Establishes Global AIDS Program
CDC begins to play a leading role in President George W. Bush’s newly announced U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – the largest commitment by any nation to address one disease
PEPFAR Launches
CDC plays a key role in the global response’s shift to build sustainable, country-led programs that integrate HIV services into broader health systems
U.S. Congress reauthorizes PEPFAR for an additional 5 years
New HIV infections decrease by more than one million – from 3.2 million in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2015
Global Infection Rates Fall
One year after global guidance calling for all people who test positive for HIV to receive immediate treatment, 18.2 million people are accessing antiretroviral therapy, up from less than a million in 2000. CDC is supporting about 1/3 of all those in treatment worldwide.
Global HIV Treatment Dramatically Expands
Since its inception, PEPFAR has saved the lives of 25 million people. PEPFAR remains a driving force in the global response to HIV, and celebrates 20 years of impact as it prepares for Congressional reauthorization.
PEPFAR Celebrates 20 Years of Impact

CDC’s Contributions

Learn about CDC’s contributions to the global HIV and TB response over four decades and the impact of our efforts.

Pediatric HIV Mortality

New MMWR report shows that despite receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV, deaths among children under 5 were more common than among older children, teens, and adults on similar HIV treatment.

Thembi’s story: Hope in the Epicenter of the Epidemic

On an early Tuesday morning in 1999, Thembi made the 20-mile trip from her home nestled in the rural hills of Eswatini to the nearest health clinic to get tested for HIV. Read how this decision changed her life.

Celebrating 36 Years of Projet Retrovirus Côte d’Ivoire

Read how Retro-CI, a first-of-its-kind virology laboratory in Cote d’Ivoire, has contributed to groundbreaking HIV research for 36 years.

Forging the Future of the HIV Response

CDC works on the frontlines in the countries hardest hit by HIV. Read the stories of how these programs are transforming lives.

Eliminating HIV as a Global Public Health Threat

Learn how PEPFAR and CDC are strengthening health systems around the world, which helps protect Americans at home and abroad.

CDC on the Frontlines

CDC experts are the heartbeat of our organization. Read the inspiring stories of their work on the frontlines.

Over the past two decades, PEPFAR and CDC have dramatically altered the course of the HIV epidemic. Looking to the future, we must continue to build on this momentum if we are to eliminate HIV as a global public health threat once and for all. PEPFAR’s 5-year strategy provides a powerful roadmap to achieving this goal. At CDC we are at the forefront, leading global efforts across each of the strategy’s five key pillars: sustaining the response; health equity for priority populations; public health systems and security; transformative partnerships; and following the science. These latest data show that we are on the path to achieving these goals and validate that PEPFAR and CDC’s efforts over the past two decades are working – we can’t stop now.

As a key implementing agency of PEPFAR, CDC is on the frontlines in more than 50 countries, bringing a combination of scientific and technical expertise, and four decades of on-the-ground experience to bear in the fight against HIV. CDC’s longstanding efforts, as part of PEPFAR, are not only transforming countries but saving countless individual lives.

CDC’s HIV Resources

Click here to download CDC’s HIV graphics to share with your networks.

HIV Overview

Learn more about CDC’s history, leadership, reach and impact in the global HIV response.