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World AIDS Day – held on 1 December each year – is one of the most globally recognised events of the year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

The global theme for this World AIDS Day is Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.

The aim of World AIDS Day is to encourage all Australians to be aware of HIV/AIDS; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting safe sex practices; and to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination.

As well as promoting the global theme, Getting to Zero, this year, World AIDS Day in Australia will be promoting the International AIDS Conference to be held in Melbourne in July 2014.

AIDS 2014 is expected to be the largest medical conference ever held in Australia and gives the Australian Government the opportunity to highlight Australia’s successes in prevention, support and treatment.

As a community and as individuals, there is a lot we can do in relation to HIV. Working in partnership with people living with HIV/AIDS, we can encourage others to understand how the virus is transmitted. We can support people to access testing and treatment, as we know that getting treatment at the early stages of infection results in better health outcomes and raise awareness that HIV positive people have the right to participate in a community free from stigma and discrimination.

Show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.

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