Here in Australia it’s now December 3, two days after World AIDS Day. The campaign has been picked up by a large number of organisations, brands and web sites. Twitter turned red in honour of the day, in collaboration with Product Red. The Inspiration Room Daily site has gone red. Google has a special page for the day. The red ribbon is everywhere. It’s all part of a much larger campaign, run over many years, to uphold a commitment to reach universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The World AIDS Campaign has released four posters and two postcards that pick up that commitment to human rights.
World AIDS Day Beginning
The World AIDS Day concept was developed in 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The campaign was picked up and promoted by Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS), with the first World AIDS Day held on 1 December 1998.
Bunn suggested the date of December 1st to ensure coverage by western news media, something he believed was vital to the success of World AIDS Day. He felt that because 1988 was an election year in the U.S. media outlets would be weary of their post-election coverage and eager to find a fresh story to cover. Bunn and Netter felt that December 1 was long enough after the election and soon enough before the Christmas holidays that it was, in effect, a dead spot in the news calendar and thus perfect timing for World AIDS Day.