According to official statistics, as of October 1, 2020, 8161 cases of HIV infection have been officially registered. Since 2016, HIV prevalence rates in Latvia are the highest in the European Union.
In 2018, a European study conducted by Riga Stradins University on mathematical modeling of HIV and testing of HIV testing activities in risk groups (HERMETIC) shows that the actual prevalence of HIV infection in Latvia is even one third higher, for about 10 thousand people. It must also be admitted that in Latvia about 60% find out about their HIV infection late – at the stage of AIDS, when they have been living with it for about 5-10 years and may have spread the virus without knowing it.
The tradition of celebrating World AIDS Day was introduced by the World Health Organization as far back as 1988, and December 1 is an annual day when the public is educated and informed about AIDS and the HIV infection that causes it through various events and activities. To celebrate this day, the international AIDS symbol – the red ribbon – is also widely used.