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World AIDS Day --- December 1, 2005

December 1 will mark the 18th observance of World AIDS Day. Begun in 1988, this annual worldwide event was established to increase awareness and education regarding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

The 2005 World AIDS Day theme in the United States, "Action Makes a Difference," addresses the importance of prevention, testing, treatment, and care programs for persons at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS. At the end of 2003, more than 1 million persons were estimated to be living in the United States with HIV infection (1). Approximately one fourth of these persons were believed to be unaware of their infections underscoring the need for increased efforts to reach populations at-risk with HIV testing and prevention services. Recent data from 33 states indicate that HIV/AIDS diagnoses continue to disproportionately impact non-Hispanic blacks and men who have sex with men regardless of race (2).

Additional information about World AIDS Day is available at, and information regarding other U.S. HIV/AIDS observances is available at Information on the AIDS pandemic is available from the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS at


  1. Glynn M, Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003 [Abstract 595]. Presented at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference; Atlanta, GA; June 12--15, 2005.
  2. CDC. Trends in HIV/AIDS diagnoses---33 states, 2001--2004. MMWR 2005;54:1149--53.

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Date last reviewed: 11/22/2005


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