World AIDS Day is a global movement to unite people in the fight against HIV and AIDS.  Since 1988, communities have stood together on World AIDS Day to show strength and solidarity against HIV stigma and to remember lives lost.

World AIDS Day exists to shine a light on the real experiences of people living with HIV today, while celebrating the strength, resilience and diversity of the communities most affected. It is a moment to inspire the leadership needed to create a future where HIV doesn’t stand in the way of anyone’s life.

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit.” This annual event serves as a reminder of the global struggle to end HIV-related stigma, an opportunity to honor those we have lost, and a rallying cry to commit to working toward a day when HIV is no longer a public health threat.

This year marks the 35th commemoration of this important day. Over the past 35 years, there has been significant progress in addressing HIV and AIDS thanks to advancements in medical research, increased access to treatment and prevention, and a broader understanding of the virus.

What’s the story behind the red ribbon?

The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. It was first devised in 1991, when twelve artists met to discuss a new project for Visual AIDS, a New York HIV-awareness arts organization.

It was there that they came up with what would become one of the most recognized symbols of the decade: the red ribbon, worn to signify awareness and support for people living with HIV. The artists wanted to create a visual expression of compassion for people living with HIV and chose red for its boldness, and for its symbolic associations with passion, the heart and love.

You can purchase red ribbons, or red ribbons brooches from National AIDS Trust’s shop.

Here are some events happening across North Carolina

Check for local events where you live as well.