The fun stuff
NSW Government

What’s World AIDS Day?

Held worldwide on 1st December each year, World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for everyone to:

  • Remember those who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS
  • Show support for people living with HIV
  • Address HIV-related stigma that’s still present in Australia

You CANNOT catch HIV through social contact.

What’s HIV-related stigma?

HIV-related stigma refers to negative attitudes and comments directed at people living with HIV. People with HIV may be labelled as being socially unacceptable or different and blamed for that difference. It’s important to remember that HIV affects people of all ages, genders, races, and religions.

HIV-related stigma can be created by people believing in rumours and not knowing how the infection is transmitted. This means that you CANNOT catch HIV by kissing, cuddling, shaking hands, sharing cutlery and cups, or by eating food made by someone with HIV.

How can you get involved?

  • Wear a Red Ribbon, the symbol of World AIDS Day, to raise awareness and show your support for people living with HIV
  • Make your friends aware about World AIDS Day by using the hashtag #ENDINGHIV on any social media platform
  • Attend a World AIDS Day event in your area, including information stalls, monuments lit red, and movie screenings. Click here to find a local event near you
  • Get tested for STIs and HIV more often

Why get tested?

  • Increasing testing rates is vital because HIV is generally transmitted by people who don’t know they have it.
  • The most effective way for people to protect themselves and their partners from HIV is to consistently use condoms and have regular HIV and STI tests.
  • HIV testing leads to early detection and allows early uptake of treatment, which improves individual health and prevents transmission to others.
  • As well as gay men, heterosexual people who may be at risk of HIV should be tested, including people who had unprotected sex with a high-risk person, people from countries where there are high rates of HIV infection, and anyone who has unprotected sex while travelling in any of these countries.

For more information on HIV testing, treatment and prevention click here or call 1800 451 624 between 9:00am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday to talk with a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.