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World AIDS Day — December 1, 2012

World AIDS Day draws attention to the current status of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic worldwide. The theme for this year's observance on December 1 is Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation.

The first cases of AIDS were reported more than 30 years ago in the June 5, 1981 issue of MMWR. Since then, the epidemic has claimed the lives of approximately 30 million persons worldwide (1), and 34.2 million persons are currently living with HIV infection (2).

Global efforts, including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (in which CDC is an implementing partner), have resulted in approximately 8 million persons in low-income and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS in 2011. This is nearly 1.4 million more persons than in 2010.

In the United States, approximately 602,000 persons diagnosed with AIDS have died since the first cases were reported (3), and approximately 50,000 persons become infected with HIV each year (4). An estimated 1.1 million persons in the United States are living with HIV infection (5).


  1. World Health Organization. Global Health Observatory HIV/AIDS data, 2010. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2011. Available at Accessed November 19, 2012.
  2. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Together we will end AIDS report. Geneva, Switzerland: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); 2012.
  3. CDC. HIV surveillance report 2010. Vol. 22. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2012.
  4. Prejean J, Song R, Hernandez A, et al. Estimated HIV incidence in the United States, 2006–2009. PLoS One 2011;6:e17502.
  5. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 U.S. dependent areas—2010. HIV surveillance supplemental report 2012;17(No. 3, part A).

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