World AIDS Day

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.

Let Communities Lead is the theme for this year. In everything St John does, everywhere we work, communities are at the heart of everything we do.

Every week, 4000 adolescent girls and young women aged 15–24 years became infected with HIV globally in 2022. 3,100 of these infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Information source: UNAIDS, World AIDS Day 2023.

St John Mother and Baby programme implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa (Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) has encouraged and supported 94% (9,500; 2023) of women enrolled in home visits to receive an HIV test. The programme also supported 80% (5,000) of partners or husbands of women enrolled in 2023. WHO recommends that pregnant women receive testing for HIV at least once during pregnancy, preferably in the first trimester.

World Aids Day Banner

Knowledge of HIV status allows pregnant women access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services. PMTCT services are designed to reduce the risk of HIV transmission from a HIV-positive mother to her child. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) – also known as vertical transmission – is the most common cause of paediatric HIV infection, often occurring during pregnancy, and birth or breastfeeding.

“The end of AIDS is possible, it is within our grasp” says UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “To follow the path that ends AIDS, the world needs to let communities lead.”