In the UK, twice as many people have HIV now, than we did ten years ago. HIV is a virus, which infects the human immune system. Advanced HIV Infection may cause AIDS (a collection of diseases and symptoms) by eventually killing the white blood cells, which a healthy body uses to fight off disease.
Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. (Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus). Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in