Since 1988, the world has come together December 1 to commemorate those lost to HIV and AIDS and discuss how to move forward in the battle against the pandemic. The statistics around HIV were much more grim 27 years ago, but the disease continues to take lives. For now, take a look at how World AIDS Day has been used as a vehicle for reflection and action.
Above, Sunday, December 1, 1996: A 100-year-old camellia tree is hoisted into place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park at the AIDS Memorial Grove in honor of World AIDS Day . The tree was donated by Joe Amaz of Trees of California, who said he didn't want the perfect specimen just sitting in someone's backyard.
December 1, 1989
TV broadcaster Barbara Walters is shown at a benefit dinner held in commemoration of World AIDS Day, December 1, 1989, in New York City.
December 1, 1996
A protester participates in the demonstration to mark World AIDS Day in Paris Sunday December 1, 1996. An estimated 22 million people around the world carry HIV as the day calls attention to efforts to stop the virus. "SIDA" is French for "AIDS," and "survivant" means "survivor." Button reads: "Action = Life."
December 1, 2002
A former sex worker turned coordinator, left, shows a flip chart on HIV and AIDS to a sex worker to make her aware of the disease in Sonagachi, Calcutta's biggest red-light district, iDecember 1, 2002. Many of the sex workers use their time to bring awareness among others in these red-light areas through nongovernmental organizations.
December 1, 1993
British rock singer David Bowie and his wife, supermodel Iman, are seen backstage at the Prince of Wales' Concert of Hope to mark World AIDS Day at London's Wembley Arena, December 1, 1993.
December 1, 1996
1,445 candles illuminate the Sergel Square in central Stockholm on World AIDS Day, Sunday, December 1, 1996. Each candle symbolizes a Swede who has died of AIDS during the year; an increase of 441 victims from the previous year. Banners at the top of the stairs reads: "World AIDS Day Dec.1 memory candles."
December 1, 1997
An activist dressed as giant condom gives free condoms to passers-by in downtown Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Monday, December 1, 1997.
December 1, 2014
Artist and activist Mondo Guerra is set to reveal a wrapped 2015 Subaru Legacy on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014, in Miami.
December 1, 2009
Khloe Kardashian volunteers with the MAC AIDS Fund at Project Angel Food for World AIDS Day, Tuesday December 1, 2009, in Los Angeles.
December 1, 2004
Students from Belmont Junior Secondary School dance to the music during the Cyril Ross Nursery Rally in commemoration of World AIDS Day held Wednesday, December 1, 2004, on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
November 29, 2005
Milde Carmona, 24, rests in an area for HIV-positive inmates at the Tacumbu prison in Asuncion, Paraguay, Tuesday, November 29, 2005. HIV-positive inmates complain about the lack of medical attention at the Tacumbu prison.
December 1, 2011
Basketball legend and AIDS activist Earvin "Magic" Johnson at a press conference to present the second annual World AIDS Day Magic Award and kick off a free HIV testing caravan at the AHF Magic Johnson Clinic in Los Angeles, Thursday, December 1, 2011.
November 30, 2014
In this photo taken Sunday, November 30, 2014, a medical personal administers an AIDS test in Gambella, Ethiopia. More than 3,300 people were tested for HIV that day in Gambella, a massive turnout that exceeded expectations among AIDS activists who had hoped to test 2,000 people, according to local officials.
November 23, 2004
Men assemble an image of a red ribbon, the symbol associated with AIDS awareness, in front of the Brazilian National Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, November 23, 2004, to prepare for World AIDS Day.