ALABAMA (WHNT) — Alabama health officials are spreading awareness about HIV prevention, care, and treatment in recognition of World AIDS Day.

According to, World AIDS Day is acknowledged every year on December 1 in an effort for “people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illness.”

When first recognized in 1988, World AIDS Day became the first global health day.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), the theme for World AIDS Day 2022 is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV.”

ADPH says this year’s goal is to encourage a global effort to eliminate disparities that “create barriers for HIV testing, prevention, and access to care.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting annual tests if you engage in activities that could transmit HIV.

“It is important to know your testing status,” said Sharon Jordan, ADPH’s director of the Office of HIV Prevention & Care. “People who know their HIV status have the information they need to modify their behavior, to protect others, get counseling, seek treatment, and/or the support needed to live longer and healthier lives.”

In addition to spreading awareness virtually, health officials will host several events around the state in recognition of World AIDS Day. One of those events is hosted by Thrive Alabama and Visual AIDS right here in Huntsville.

The “Visibility Gallery,” a community art installation at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment features hundreds of local artists. The display and Being & Belonging program is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 1.

Learn more about free testing and HIV in the State of Alabama here.