Ending the HIV Epidemic
Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice
Annually on December 1st, we commemorate World AIDS Day and reflect upon our worldwide response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This year has been especially poignant as we mark 40 years since the first five cases of what later became known as AIDS were officially reported and honor the more than 36 million people, including 700,000 in the United States, who have died from AIDS-related illness globally since the start of the epidemic.
The U.S. Government’s theme for World AIDS Day 2021—Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice—highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong commitment to ending the HIV epidemic globally by addressing health inequities and ensuring the voices of people with HIV are central in all our work. As we prioritize leading the COVID-19 response, including becoming an arsenal of vaccines for the world, and helping every country and community build back better, we must at the same time forge ahead, innovate, and invest in communities to end the HIV epidemic everywhere.
We have made remarkable progress in preventing and treating HIV domestically and globally. Scientific discovery has yielded HIV advances that were unavailable and even unimaginable just a decade ago, supported by people with lived experience, communities affected by HIV, and cooperation among governments, private companies, and academic and research institutions. New discoveries and innovations in HIV research, prevention, care, and treatment have contributed to reducing new HIV transmissions and ensuring individuals with HIV can live long, healthy lives. We have taken important steps to addressing HIV stigma in communities and health care systems.