Background on 20th Anniversary of AIDS

The Leadership Campaign on AIDSOn June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of a new disease which was hitting gay men. This report ushered in what we now know as the AIDS pandemic. In the United States alone, almost 900,000 people are believed to be infected with HIV. Worldwide, tens of millions are believed to have been infected with HIV, and untold millions have already died of AIDS.

Organizations and individuals around the world will be marking this day with activities of their own. This Web site was developed as a means to assist any organization or individual which wishes to mark the 20th anniversary of AIDS by providing them a "tool kit" they can use in tailoring activities for their own community. There is no right way or wrong way to mark the 20th anniversary, nor any requirement to do so. It is hoped that the information contained in the "tool kit," will help facilitate the planning and implementation of activities that an organization may choose to undertake.

Through the hard work of many dedicated individuals we have been able to make great strides in the development of new medications, in learning what works in terms of prevention, and in providing needed care and services that people with HIV deserve. Yet, we still have a long way to go. We do not have a cure for HIV/AIDS, and we do not have a vaccine to prevent new infections.

Twenty years of AIDS has changed the face of the United States and the world. We can use this milestone to once again bring attention to the devastation and impact HIV/AIDS has had on our community, both locally and globally. We can use this day to acknowledge all those who have passed from AIDS, and recommit ourselves to helping bring this global pandemic to an end.

If your organization will be developing activities to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of AIDS, we would like to know. Please email Mr. Matthew Murguia at with information on your plans.

Thank you.

How to Use This Tool Kit | Contents of the Tool Kit