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Initiated by the World Health Organization, World AIDS Day is the only annual global event dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness. Each year, a different theme—such as “AIDS and the Family”—is designated.

In part to reestablish a sense of personal urgency about AIDS, the 1994 campaign promoted a message of “AIDS and the Family” and was punctuated by a 42-nation AIDS summit in Paris. The 1995 theme was “Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities” and was reflected by the creation of an international multi-organization program, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS. Other efforts in 1995 included a campaign of AIDSawareness radio broadcasts in China, a poster competition in Romania, a gospel concert in the United States, a procession and group meeting of students in India, a signature campaign in Hong Kong, and the establishment of a site on the World Wide Web portion of the Internet where celebrities and officials could record their comments about AIDS for public access.