Since 1988, World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December every year to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from HIV/AIDS. [1] Each year, a theme is set for World AIDS Day. This year the theme is ‘Communities make the difference’ – emphasising the essential role that communities play in the AIDS response at local, national and international levels. [2]

World AIDS Day is important to remind people that HIV still exists, and we must continue to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education whilst showing solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. [1] You can show your support by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon, attending one of the many events that are being held in honour of World AIDS Day, or by getting tested for HIV today.

Global progress

Since the 1980s, when little was known about HIV and AIDS, significant progress has been made in our understanding of HIV. This includes how to prevent HIV and how to treat HIV. [3] The most recent figures indicate that 4 in 5 people with HIV get tested and 2 in 3 receive treatment, with the presence of communities playing a major role in this success. [5]

At the end of 2018, there are an estimated 37.9 million people living with HIV globally. Of these people, 79% received testing to know their status, 62% received treatment, and 53% reached an undetectable viral load, meaning that the virus cannot be spread to the others. [4]

90 90 90 targets
Source: UNAIDS

In order to reach the 90-90-90 targets and end the HIV epidemic, everyone living with HIV must have access to the appropriate treatment. [6]

The importance of communities

Key communities are often formed around those living with HIV or affected by the epidemic. These populations include community health workers and members of HIV networks. The presence of these communities has helped to make positive progress towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target. [4]

Communities are the most effective way to reach key populations living with HIV. High-risk communities, including sex workers, gay men and those who inject drugs, encourage themselves and the wider community to protect against HIV or learn how to stay healthy whilst living with HIV. In hostile environments, community organisations are often the primary support network. [7]


Community-led organisations helped over 23 million people access HIV treatment in 2018. [7] We must continue to reduce the number of people affected by HIV, together.

A statement from Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director

“I believe in communities. Communities make change happen. Communities are the best hope for ending AIDS because communities have fought against HIV right from the beginning! As the epidemic raged through our countries, cities, villages, women held communities together and bore the higher burden of care for their families. For far too long we have taken their volunteerism for granted. In the face of adversity, communities of gay men, sex workers and people who use drugs have organized themselves to claim their right to health as equal citizens. So, we know that communities have proved their worth. There is no debate there.” [8]

Anonymous HIV testing near me

Each year, over 4,300 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK. [1] HIV testing is important. Those who are infected with the virus can lead a healthy and productive life with the right treatment. Yet, many things prevent people from getting regular tests for HIV, including stigma and discrimination.

Better2Know’s private STI and HIV testing services are completely confidential and anonymous. You do not have to give us your real name if this makes you more comfortable with getting tested for HIV.

Better2Know’s private sexual health clinics provide confidential HIV testing across the UK. This includes:

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Liverpool
  • Leeds
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Brighton
  • Cardiff
  • Birmingham
  • Bath
  • Nottingham
  • Bristol

Better2Know’s dedicated sexual health advisors are highly trained to provide the advice and support you need. If you have any further questions regarding HIV and AIDS, or your sexual health more generally, your experienced advisor will guide you. If you are unsure which HIV test to choose, Better2Know’s expert sexual health advisors will help you select the most appropriate HIV test for you.

If you are worried about your sexual health, or your HIV status, you should get tested as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment of HIV will help prevent further damage to your health.

Get involved with World AIDS Day 2019

In celebration and support of World AIDS Day, many organisations are holding events or launching campaigns to support people living with HIV and raise awareness.


Wear a red ribbon for Rock The Ribbon to show your support for those affected by HIV.

rock the ribbon

World AIDS Day Red Run London

Hosted by Positive East, the Red Run through Victoria Park (East London) is a 10K or 5K charity run in support of 35 HIV charities throughout the UK. Since 2009, the Red Run has raised over £300,000 to support and strengthen the UK’s response to HIV.

Book Your Anonymous HIV Test with Better2Know Today

To arrange your confidential HIV testing appointment with Better2Know, please contact our friendly sexual health advisors on the number listed above. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.

Alternatively, you can arrange your HIV test at one of our private STI clinics in the UK by selecting the orange Book Now button at the top of the page. Better2Know’s secure, online booking system enables you to organise your anonymous HIV test at any time.


[1] About World AIDS Day

[2] UNAIDS: Communities make the difference

[3] Global HIV/AIDS Overview

[4] UNAIDS: Global HIV and AIDS statistics

[5] WHO: Top messages for policymakers

[6] UNAIDS: 90-90-90 Treatment for all

[7] UNAIDS: Communities make the difference

[8] UNAIDS: Press statement

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