red ribbons

World AIDS Day: 8 cultural moments that changed the course of the global pandemic

In four decades, AIDS has gone from a likely death sentence to a manageable condition that needn’t affect most patients’ life spans, health or pursuit of happiness.

None of this progress could have happened without education and action, largely on the part of the LGBTQ community which stood tall as others lagged.

In honor of World AIDS Day December 1, we’re remembering these eight moments when AIDS broke through to a new level of cultural awareness.

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1. World AIDS Day

In 1988, the World Health Organization launched World AIDS Day to raise awareness and mourn those lost to the disease. Celebrated each year December 1, it encompasses events all around the world. (The red ribbon came three years later in 1991 and still stands as the universal symbol of AIDS awareness.) Use this interactive map to find an event near you, and don’t be afraid to hit that big red Donate button.

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