Commemorating World AIDS Day 2023 at the Duke CFAR

Commemorating World AIDS Day 2023 at the Duke CFAR

World AIDS Day banner

Every year on December 1st, the world unites to commemorate World AIDS Day. This annual event serves as a reminder of the global struggle to end HIV-related stigma, an opportunity to honor those we have lost, and a rallying cry to continue working toward a day when HIV is no longer a public health threat. 2023 marked the 35th commemoration of this important day.

Read our World AIDS Day 2023 newsletter.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, we have lost more than 40 million lives worldwide to HIV. At the end of 2022, 39 million people were living with HIV globally. Approximately 1.2 million of those individuals are living in the United States, and more than 30,000 people are living with HIV right here in North Carolina.

Across the CFAR, Durham, North Carolina, the United States, and the globe, communities came together to recognize World AIDS Day. See a few highlights below

Letting Communities Lead

2024-01-09 WAD Communities

The UNAIDS theme for World AIDS Day 2023 was Let Communities Lead. The world can end AIDS, with communities leading the way. Organizations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with person-centered public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable. This World AIDS Day was more than a celebration of the achievements of communities; it was a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles

With this theme as a grounding principle, the Duke Collaborative Community Council (D3C) hosted an evening of storytelling and talks on December 1st from advocates and researchers to fight stigma and lift up community.

The evening began with a powerful spoken word poem by Mrs. Stacy J. Senghor, which set the tone for an incredible event. Two of our D3C members shared their stories of how HIV has impacted their lives, and two CFAR researchers, Dr. Tonia Poteat and Dr. Sadie Wilson reflected on their journeys in HIV-related research, the importance of centering community in research, and highlighting the voices of transgender advocates in the fight for health equity. Dr. Joyce Turner Keller, an advocate, community organizer, and motivational speaker inspired the room, sharing how HIV has taken her "from the crack house where there were substance users to the White House where I had to advocate for better services for those of us living with HIV." We encourage you listen to Mrs. Senghor and Dr. Keller's words, and to think about how you can incorporate community leadership into your work. Remember that the D3C is available for free consultations to CFAR researchers!

A reception after the programming allowed for attendees to mingle, take photos with the beautiful backdrop, receive free HIV and STI testing from the Durham County Department of Public Health, and check out resources from CAARE, The LGBTQ Center of Durham, the Duke PrEP Clinic, researchers, and clinicians.

2024-01-09 WAD


Building Bonds, Helping the Community

2024-01-09 WAD Construction 1

Dr. Wilton Williams, Associate Professor of Surgery and a member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, joined 10 members of his lab staff last month for a day of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity of Durham. The outing, in honor of World AIDS Day on December 1, had the group removing temporary support beams and installing windows and doors in a house that will be home to a Durham family. "This brings us closer together," Williams said. "Working together, we get to share experiences and it helps us build our team."

2024-01-09 WAD Construction 2


Progress & Opportunity: A Conversation between Dean Klotman and Dr. Bart Haynes

2024-01-09 Klotman Video

Dean Mary Klotman's Friday Message for Friday, December 1st, featured a conversation with Barton Haynes, MD, Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute about our progress in the fight against HIV as we recognize World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day 2023 Roundup

2024-01-09 Whitehouse WAD

A Proclamation on World AIDS Day, 2023 - President Joe Biden

NIH Statement on World AIDS Day 2023

Ambassador Nkengasong’s World AIDS Day Statement

Statement by Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine on World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day 2023: CDC Dear Colleague Letter

Watch Personal Reflections from the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) Staff - World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit

To learn more about World AIDS Day and the work being done at the Duke CFAR, view our 2022 World AIDS Day page and visit our photo gallery to see how Duke is uniting in the fight against HIV.

Join us for a Worlds AIDS Day Event in Durham this December 1st, 2023

Friday, December 1, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

St. Philip's Episcopal Church Parish Hall - 403 E. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

The event is free and open to the public. Free STI and HIV testing is available. All are welcome!! Please help us spread the word about our event. Access shareable flyers here.

CFAR investigators, if you have any research recruitment materials that you would like to bring to the event to have available, please contact Lizzy Knippler at

World AIDS Day 2023 Poster