*Points of contact for help are linked below*.

Today, December 1, is the annual World AIDS Day. It was first introduced by the WHO in 1988 and has since then commemorated the victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic which persists today. World AIDS Day was the first global health day to be observed. Since the 1990s, the so-called “Red Ribbon” has been a well-known symbol in the fight against HIV and AIDS, allowing people to show their unity under the common cause.

Since the discovery of HIV in 1984, more than 35 million people have died from HIV or AIDS-related diseases. At the end of 2019, nearly 100,000 people were living with HIV in Germany alone, and about 2,500 new infections are documented here annually. Nearly half of the positive test results in Germany appear only after the people tested have become seriously ill. In addition to the enormous loss of life, the pandemic has exacerbated social inequalities. Since the outbreak, the disease has been used as an excuse to legitimize unjust discrimination against some minorities, particularly homeless people and LGBT+ members.

One goal of World AIDS Day is to remotivate people to get involved in fighting the pandemic. Through education, we can collectively break down stigma and fight the pandemic. In addition to well-known institutions such as the Robert Koch Institute and the local health department, there are several contact points in Aachen where all citizens can find good information.

For general, anonymous advice the colleagues at AIDS-HILFE Aachen e.V. can be contacted: https://www.aidshilfeaachen.de

For inexpensive, anonymous testing there is the project test2multiply: https://www.test2multiply.de