White House

'Time to Act is Now': World AIDS Day Theme Demonstrates Urgent Need for Action

December 1 is recognized globally as World AIDS Day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) established the annual observance in 1988 as a way to offer communities the chance to unite to fight against the HIV/AIDS stigma, commemorate those who have lost the battle with AIDS, and also show support for those who are living with the disease.

Though new HIV infections have fallen by 35 percent and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 24 percent since 2000, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives a year, according to WHO.

This year's theme for World AIDS Day 2015 in the U.S., "The Time to Act is Now," demonstrates "the urgent need for action today," the White House announced last month.

"The global HIV epidemic requires a coordinated and united response," the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, Douglas M. Brooks, wrote in the White House blog. "In 2015, we know what it takes to prevent HIV infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV, and we are building on the success of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)."

PEPFAR has recently partnered with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to launch a $10 million initiative that will contribute grants to organizations working to provide HIV-related needs to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, including improving access to HIV services and helping to create "non-stigmatizing environments."

Organizations and groups around the world will hold events to celebrate World AIDS Day. Cities and famous landmarks will light up in red to honor those who have lost the battle with AIDS and to show support for those who continue to fight.

Here's some ways you can help:

Go (RED)

The red ribbon has become the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. Purchase or make your own red ribbon to show your support for World AIDS Day.

Keeping with the red theme, in 2006, Bono and Bobby Shriver founded (RED), a non profit organization that partners with the private sector to raise awareness and funds to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa.

(RED) partners like Coca-Cola, beats by dr. dre, Apple, Starbucks, Le Creuset, among many others, donate 50 percent of the profits from (RED) products to the Global Fund HIV/AIDS. The organization provides life-saving antiretroviral medication (ARVs) that works to keep the virus from multiplying and can prevent an HIV positive pregnant woman from transmitting the virus to her child.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation have also partnered with (RED). Between November 9 and December 20, the ticket sales companies will display a (RED) button on their websites allowing customers to donate $10 during purchases.

On Tuesday night, Bono is hosting a Shopathon on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The the star-studded fundraising event will feature "once-in-a-lifetime-experiences" that can be won after donating at least $10 to (RED). Prizes include a bike ride with the U2 frontman or learning to pass a football with Tom Brady himself.

Uber rider's in more than 150 cities nationwide can help drive the effort towards an AIDS Free Generation. The ride-sharing company has partnered with (RED) and will enable drivers to donate $5 to the Global Fund at the end of their trip, Uber announced Monday. Uber cars around the world will turn red to raise awareness around the cause. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match all donations made on Dec. 1 to (RED) via the Uber app.


MAC cosmetics is donating 100 percent of the selling price of MAC VIVA GLAM lipstick and lipgloss to the MAC AIDS Fund. The company is featuring two new lip products named after the current VIVA GLAM spokeswoman Miley Cyrus: super-sexy bright orange and coordinating Lipglass gloss with pearl shimmer.

Join the Conversation:

The White House will host a live webcast of its World AIDS Day event highlighting President Obama's commitment to the sustainable development goals outlined by the United Nations. The livestream will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET. You can join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #WAD2015.

A #TreatmentForAll

The #TreatmentForAll initiative aims to stem the AIDS epidemic in Africa by treating 28 million people by 2020. United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Ray Chambers, Emmy Award-winning television host Ricki Lake and digital influencers Wesley Stromberg, Sammy Wilkinson, Megan Nicole and Melvin Gregg kicked-off the campaign Monday with the first documentary film officially launched on Facebook. The video ends with a string of social media stars sharing the hashtag, asking viewers to do the same.

Get Tested:

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