World AIDS Day
Every year on 1 December, UNESCO stands together with UNAIDS, co-sponsors and other partners for World AIDS Day.
While considerable progress has been made towards ending AIDS as a public health threat, the HIV epidemic is not over and young people remain disproportionately at risk. Worldwide in 2017, there were approximately 250,000 new HIV infections and 38,000 AIDS-related deaths among adolescents. 1.8 million adolescents are living with HIV globally.
Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is essential for young people to be able to protect themselves from HIV. It also helps young people avoid unintended pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections, encourages them to seek out health-related information and services, promotes values of tolerance, mutual respect and non-violence in relationships, and supports a safe transition into adulthood.
UNESCO’s work on education and HIV, in particular its strategic priorities of increasing access to quality comprehensive sexuality education and making education safe and inclusive, is a key part of the global AIDS response. UNESCO supports national education authorities and partners to strengthen their existing curricula and adapt content and approaches to their local context.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"An effective AIDS response calls for close collaboration with [the] frontline actors. It is for that reason that UNESCO is working so hard to support and monitor activities of those communities on the ground, especially in the key field of education. The fact is that the fight against AIDS is not just a medical and scientific battle; it is also, crucially, a matter of education."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World AIDS Day