World Aids Day: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice

December 8, 2021

This year's World Aids Day theme is Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice. Although there have been significant improvements in HIV diagnosis rates and HIV prevention, HIV is still seen as a healthcare challenge, especially for populations disproportionately impacted by this disease. In response, fighting towards equity must be a priority for all healthcare professionals. Institutions such as the NIH play a significant role in US government efforts to end the epidemic in the country, with goals of reducing new cases of HIV by at least 90% by 2030.


Cases of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, also known as AIDS, were reported in the United States in June of 1981. According to the CDC, an estimated 1.2 million people live with HIV/AIDS in the United States, and there are over 30,000 new infections every year¹. Although there has been a decline in the number of new infections of HIV in the United States, HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities, gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men and transgender women.²


Male-to-Male sexual contact accounted for 65% of new HIV diagnoses in the US in 2019, while heterosexual contact has accounted for 23% of new HIV diagnoses.³ By Race, Black/African American individuals are seen to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDs as they accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses in 2019, followed by Hispanic/Latino populations who accounted for 29% of new HIV diagnoses in 2019 ²


Established in 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the first day of December as World Aids Day. This is a call to fight against the HIV pandemic and recognize the millions of individuals who have died from HIV/AIDS and those living with HIV/AIDS. According to WHO, an estimated 680,000 people had died from HIV in 2020 and approximately 1.5 million people have become newly infected with the disease⁴ There have been significant reductions in the annual number of new HIV infections given the national investment in HIV prevention.⁵ HIV prevention efforts have shown to generate increased economic benefits, as it is found that for every infection that is prevented, an estimated cost of over $300,000 can be saved in the cost of providing lifetime HIC treatment.⁶ This can result in significant costs that are saved for the healthcare system. Proven prevention interventions, according to the CDC, include HIV testing and linkage to care, Antiretroviral therapy(ART), access to condoms and sterile syringes, prevention programs for people living with HIV and their partners and for people at high risk of infection, substance abuse treatment and screening and treatment for other STIs.⁷ In conjunction with evidence- based prevention interventions, providing education and programs to reduce stigma and increase awareness are some of the things prevention professionals may contribute to reducing HIV infections.


The Central East PTTC offers a four-part series on Understanding the historical information behind the challenges and the risk factors of the LGBTQIA2S+ BIPOC. This collaboration with Central East ATTC, National American Indian & Alaska Natives PTTC, and the National Hispanic and Latino PTTC will empower prevention professionals on how to best serve disproportionately impacted populations and indirectly serve as a way to address the issue of equity in the area of HIV/AIDS.



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2015–2019. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2021;26(No. 1). hiv/library/reports/hiv-surveillance.html. Published May 2021. Accessed [December 5th, 2021].
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas, 2019. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2021;26(No.2). Published May 2021. December 5th, 2021.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2019; vol.32. Published May 2021. December 5th, 2021.
  5. Hall HI, Song R, Rhodes P, et al. Estimation of HIV incidence in the United States. JAMA 2008;300(5):520-529
  6. Farnham PG, Holtgrave DR, Sansom SL, et. al. Medical Costs Averted by HIV Prevention Efforts in the United States, 1991–2006. JAIDS 2010;54:565-67.
World AIDS Day graphic
Princess Walker, TA Manager
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