amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

World AIDS Day 2020

“Global solidarity, shared responsibility” is the theme for this year’s World AIDS Day on December 1. In a difficult year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, we see yet again how deadly diseases including HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 reveal persistent inequities across the United States and around the world. And yet again we know that we cannot win the fight against either disease without addressing gaps in access to health care and lifesaving treatment, as well as the often deadly impacts of stigma and systemic injustice.

In the U.S., Black and Latino communities bear the brunt of both HIV and COVID-19. In 2018 Black Americans accounted for 13% of the U.S. population, but 42% of new HIV diagnoses, and Latinos accounted for about one in four new HIV diagnoses. Looking at Black communities in the U.S., an amfAR study revealed how disproportionately Black counties in the U.S. are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Organizations, communities, and individuals around the world will observe World AIDS Day with events and activities on and around December 1.

At amfAR’s Meet the Scientists virtual event on Thursday, December 3, Drs. Timothy Schacker of the University of Minnesota Medical School and Jerome Zack of the University of California, Los Angeles, will discuss their work and the use of natural killer cells of the innate immune system in HIV cure research. Their discussion will be moderated by Dr. Rowena Johnston, amfAR vice president and director of research.

The podcast 38 Mil + will host a World AIDS Day episode on December 1 featuring Dr. Johnston, who will discuss amfAR’s research efforts for HIV and COVID-19. Greg Millett, amfAR vice president and director of public policy, will also join the podcast to discuss how HIV and COVID-19 impact Black and Latino communities.

On December 3, Millett will also participate in an event marking the fourth consecutive year that the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will commemorate World AIDS Day. This year’s livestreamed virtual event will reflect on the activists including health care workers on the front lines, the past and future of AIDS research, and the laws and policies that affect people with HIV.

The Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health will observe World AIDS Day on December 1 with an event titled “Science and Community: Working Together to Prepare for the Unexpected.” Featuring researchers from across the NIH and other HIV/AIDS experts, it will focus on community engagement and the importance of building the capacity of current and future generations of HIV researchers and advocates.

Also on December 1, Playbill will broadcast Remember the Ribbon: A Tribute to World AIDS Day in honor of people living with HIV and in memory of those lost to AIDS. The concert event will unlock performances from the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS video vault to uplift and inspire audiences. Hamilton leading man Javier Muñoz and others will perform and share personal stories about living with HIV.