World AIDS Day activity ideas

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is a great way for individuals and communities to remember those we’ve lost and support those who continue to be infected with HIV every day. Keep in mind that the activities mentioned below are only ideas. Feel free to tailor the activities to meet your organization’s needs or goals as this information is provided only as a means to facilitate activities.


Local activities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health and the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy strongly encourage organizations and individuals to consider holding an event at the local level, writing a letter to the editor, or otherwise engaging their community in observing HIV/AIDS Awareness Days.

Following is a list of relatively easy activities that can be undertaken in your community to acknowledge the observance of the appropriate HIV/AIDS Day. Should you decide to implement any activities, consider tailoring them to meet the needs of your community.

Activity ideas

  • Hold a forum at a local high school, public library, or community center to discuss HIV issues.
  • Encourage your local newspapers or school districts to sponsor essay, poetry, and/or poster contests on the specific celebration.
  • Hold a news conference with leading city officials (e.g., Mayor, health department director) to raise public awareness of the impact HIV has had in your community. To help increase HIV awareness, invite other local public officials (health department officers and community leaders) to talk about the challenges remaining in the battle to fight the epidemic.
  • Encourage the Mayor to visit a local HIV service organization or community-based organization to discuss their current activities and future plans in responding to HIV.
  • Convene a town hall meeting and invite local healthcare providers, policy makers, educators, community and faith-based leaders, and the general public to engage in dialogue about the impact of HIV in the community. Invite people living with HIV to share their experiences. Hold a reception for participants immediately following the town hall meeting.
  • Highlight the specific observance of the HIV/AIDS Day in your community newsletter and on list servers, bulletin boards, and/or websites.
  • Submit an HIV awareness editorial or a letter to the editor to all of your local newspapers. You may want to use or tailor the attached sample talking points to address the specific needs within your community.
  • Encourage your local radio stations to broadcast Public Service Announcements leading up to the specific observance day in an effort to help increase HIV awareness. Please feel free to download the PSAs contained in this site for your local station.
  • Ask your mayor or other local elected official to send a letter/memorandum to all city employees (often the largest single employer in any area) about the specific HIV/AIDS Obsrvance Day, and to inform them of available city services (e.g., HIV testing and/or counseling sites).
  • Contact local newspapers and television and radio stations NOW and encourage them to develop a story on the impact of HIV in your community and/or let them know of your availability to be interviewed.
  • Contact your local television and radio stations to participate as a guest on locally produced “morning” shows and/or radio call-in shows.