to UNAIDS estimates for 2004, there were 35.7 million adults and 2.1
million children living with HIV at the end of 2003, and during the year
4.8 million new people became infected with the virus. Around half of all
people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are
killed by AIDS before they are 35. 95% of the total number of people with HIV/AIDS
live in the developing world. But HIV still remains a threat to people of
all ages and nationalities.
Girls, HIV and AIDS is the theme of the 2004 World AIDS day. Around
the world there are many different ways in which HIV and AIDS affect women.
Among them are :
HIV/AIDS has been thought of in the past as a disease mainly affecting
gay men or drug users. In fact, in 2004, most HIV infections come from
heterosexual sex. And in heterosexual sex, women are more likely to
become infected than are men.
to child transmission of HIV accounted for 90% of all babies
infected in 2003. A drug is cheaply available to greatly reduce the
chances of this occurring, but it fails to be provided to many women
around the world. HIV can also be transmitted by breast milk, which is
easily substituted for artificial alternatives – also, often
violence is an issue affecting women everywhere in the world.
It can be even more damaging when it involves the transmission,
sometimes deliberate, of HIV. A new and alarming phenomenon that has
been seen in the past decade is the use of HIV as a weapon of war. In
conflict areas such as Rwanda and Kosovo there have been reports of
thousands of women being raped and purposely infected with HIV as part
of a campaign of 'ethnic cleansing'.
is an issue which has affected women for many decades. It can impact
on their job prospects, their economic and social position, their
access to healthcare and education. Women who have HIV may experience
discrimination on two fronts, and if the healthcare services
discriminate against them, their lives can be shortened as a result.
are the most common route of HIV transmission to women. In fact, most
women infected with HIV have caught the virus from a husband or
for HIV to be effectively tackled on an international level, efforts need
to be made to
the discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS.
people in safer sex and drug use, using appropriate media.
condoms freely to people in the developing world.
financial and medical assistance so that people with HIV and AIDS can
1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but also about
raising awareness, education and fighting prejudice. World AIDS Day is
also important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that
there are many things still to be done.
theme for World AIDS Day
there is a particular theme chosen for World AIDS Day, and for the last
fourteen years the themes have been as follows:
Women & AIDS
Stigma & Discrimination
Stigma & Discrimination
I care. Do you?
AIDS : Men make a difference
Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People
Force For Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People
Children Living in a World with AIDS
One World, One Hope
Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities
AIDS & the Family
Time to Act
Sharing the Challenge
Women & AIDS
Red Ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness that is
worn by people all year round and particularly around world AIDS
day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to
remind others of the need for their support and commitment.
red ribbon started as a "grass roots" effort, and as a
result there is no official red ribbon, and many people make their
own. It’s easily done – just use some ordinary red ribbon and
a safety pin!
you can support world AIDS Day
raising awareness of HIV and AIDS in your area.
wearing a red ribbon, and asking others to do the same.
yourself - this is the first and best way to stop the spread of HIV.
are worried - get tested.
school or work
dressing up, down or fancy dress day
some posters - get people talking
a creative writing/poster campaign
a debate or a quiz – there’re lots of ideas for topics on our site
an international meal or have a cake sale
a sponsored three-legged race or balloon release
your friends, family, colleagues or pupils to express their feelings
and expand their knowledge about AIDS
up a display
a display, whether at work, school or in a public library or shopping
centre or mall, is an excellent way of raising awareness of HIV and
creating discussion. There are some posters and booklets on the site on
our resource page and these can be downloaded
and printed out as part of your display.