World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day, marked annually since 1988, and this year’s theme message is Kissing Doesn’t Spread HIV. Ignorance Does.

It’s a response to National AIDS Trust research which shows 16% of people wrongly think you can get HIV from kissing, up from 4% ten years ago.

With over 36 million people living with HIV worldwide, in 2014 1.2 million people died of AIDS-related illness. This is a decline of 42% since 2004.

Since the start of the century the rate of new infections worldwide has fallen from 3.1 million a year to 2 million. Here in the UK 107,000 people are living with HIV, around 1 in 4 of who don’t know they have the virus.

Key political figures have recorded video messages including Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

NAT have released new teaching materials around HIV / AIDS for schools, here.

Many regional organisations provide support and information such as Manchester’s George House Trust, Mesmac in the North East, London-based Positively, or ABPlus in Birmingham.