Since December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed annually when it became the first recognized global health day. The day is used to unify nations across the world in the fight against HIV and AIDS and to mourn those who have lost their lives to the illness. According a UNAIDS statement released today, there were 1.5 million new infections of people suffering from HIV/AIDS in 2020.
Each World AIDS Day, the U.S. focuses on a theme, and this year's theme is, "Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone's Voice". Although there has been tremendous progress in HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment, the COVID-19 pandemic made the delivery of treatment challenging, and racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities continue to be factors of inequity.
In 2019, Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) was announced with the aim of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. This plan, with the ultimate goal to see a 75% reduction in new HIV infections by 2025 and at least 90% reduction by 2030, will utilize recent scientific advances in HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and outbreak response. In the first phase of the plan, the initiative focuses on areas where HIV transmission is extremely frequent and will be providing those 57 identifies areas with additional resources, expertise, and technology.