Building peace in the minds of men and women

World AIDS Day 2018

1 December

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.


"On this World AIDS Day, UNESCO joins UNAIDS and partners to remind that knowledge protects. “Know your status!” is the theme of this 30th edition of World AIDS Day.

Knowledge protects. In addition to teaching young people how to prevent HIV and access testing, sexuality education also helps them develop important life skills and positive health-seeking behaviour. For young people living with HIV, a healthpromoting school environment can be lifesaving, by helping them not just access treatment but adhere to it. Knowledge is also our first defence against HIV-related stigma and discrimination."

— Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World AIDS Day

Download the complete message: English - Français - Español - Русский - العربية - 中文