World AIDS Day
is observed December 1 of every year. It’s a day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and to hold memorials honoring those who have died from HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day has evolved
into a powerful day of observance since the first
World AIDS Day on December 1, 1988. The Idea Implementers were James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. These two individuals took into account the value of western news media coverage for success in launching their project. The year, 1988, was an election year in the U.S. and they wanted to observe World AIDS Day far enough after the election hype, but in enough time before the Christmas holidays. They found December 1 to be just the right day to launch their project and get the coverage they needed. In 1996, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) took over the planning and promotion of World AIDS Day. Soon after, in 1997, the World AIDS Campaign
was started to focus on year-round communication, prevention and education, and in 2004, the World AIDS Campaign became an independent organization.
Without a doubt, it’s the passion of the creators and other dedicated individuals that has made the World AIDS Day campaign a success in reaching out to people and raising awareness about the AIDS pandemic. Carefully planning the launch and marketing of this observed day also played a part in making World AIDS Day an internationally known campaign. They changed their focus over the years from only highlighting children and young people, to recognizing that people of all ages may be infected with HIV and be diagnosed with AIDS. They listened to their audience, knew their target and carefully planned.
Is there still more work to do? Absolutely. Their marketing outreach and efforts will need to be tweaked and adjusted for years to come with the primary focus of raising awareness, prevention efforts and bringing the number of those infected with HIV/AIDS down. Their passion and planned marketing efforts have them off to a good start.
To learn more about World AIDS Day, click here