AIDS ribbon

Every December 1 since 1988, World AIDS Day—the first ever global health day—has been an occasion to mourn the more than 35 million people who have been lost to the disease since it was first identified, support those living with it now, and unite in the cause of prevention, treatment, awareness, and research efforts happening across the globe.

At NYU, we show our support and mark the occasion by taking stock of the events, research, and resources that our community contributes to the cause every day throughout the year. The Student Health Center offers a comprehensive look at World AIDS Day 2019, including an overview of the preventative medicine known as PrEP. Below are a variety of other updates on some of the university's ongoing work on this disease.

Events and Resources

  • NYU’s LGBTQ+ Center and the NYU Student Health Center are hosting free, confidential, rapid HIV testing for all NYU students on Friday, December 6. Results are ready in just 20 minutes.
  • NYU's "Sexpert" and HIV Counselor will be participating in the Sexual Health and Wellness Fair on Monday, December 2, from 12:00–3:00 p.m., at 726 Broadway, 7th floor (GPH Lounge).
  • Community-organizer and activist Jason Walker explores how race, class, and other social identity markers impact the fight to end HIV/AIDS in NYC and beyond on Tuesday, December 3, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Gallatin School, 1 Washington Place, Room 801. (food will be provided)
  • Those insterested in activism—including inequalities in the healthcare system and the affordability of medication—are invited to a training day with HIV/AIDS activist Emily Sanderson. Students will learn techniques for pursuing change on Thursday, December 5, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the LGBTQ+ Center—60 Washington Square South, Suite 602. (food will be provided)
  • At "Ladies First," come learn more from women in our community about their work in sexual health and keeping yourself protected on Friday, December 6, 5:30–6:00 p.m. in Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, Room 737.
  • How do nurses support people living with HIV and participate in interventions aimed to protect transmission? Rory Meyers College of Nursing professor Michele Crespo-Fierro and Stephen Karpiak, senior director for research at the Gay Men's Health Crisis, will lead this discussion on Monday, December 2 at 5:00 p.m. at 433 First Avenue.
  • Nine panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt are on display in Bobst Library through December 15, honoring members of the trans community, incarcerated individuals, artists and activists who shaped NYC's downtown arts scene, and an NYU student.
  • Testing for HIV and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) can also be performed during a routine visit with NYU Primary Care and Women’s Health. An NYU HIV Counselor is available by appointment for HIV testing, providing educational materials, and/or answering questions regarding HIV-related issues.
  • For all questions about sexuality, sexual health, safer sex, intimacy, or anything else related to sex, students can consult NYU’s Sexpert, a sexual health educator in the Student Health Center who provides an online, confidential Q&A forum for current NYU students. Email questions to the Sexpert at or make an appointment to meet in person.
  • Between November 2018 and October 2019, NYU distributed 58,176 condoms. A variety of locations at the university and organizations throughout New York City offer free condoms and safer sex supplies.
  • Sexual Health and Pleasure resources include information on safe sex, common sex myths, and proper communication and consent.
  • Safer sex education is provided through NYU residence halls, offices, and at campus events (by invitation). Students, known as Sexucators, will serve as educational resources, distributing condoms and information, and ultimately contributing to the creation of a healthier NYU.

Research News

  • Researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Long Island School of Medicine published a study in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine revealing that although people are living longer with HIV, other common co-infections, such as viral hepatitis C, which takes years to damage the liver, are starting to emerge as causes and contributors of death.
  • Ann-Margaret Navarra of the NYU Meyers College of Nursing is studying the use of peer education and support for Latinx and African American HIV-positive young people. Through smartphone video calls and peer health coaches—who are also young people with HIV—they ae encouraging those in the study to continue taking HIV medications. So far, it seems the peer-to-peer approach is keeping HIV-positive young people healthier. 
  • The NYU College of Global Public Health's Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Infection has been studying the intersection of drug use and HIV for more than 20 years—examining how injecting drugs spreads HIV and how to best prevent it. In October, Professor Don Des Jarlais spoke at an International AIDS Society meeting in Malaysia, revealing that his team was part of an international group of researchers that helped end the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs in the city of Hai Phong, Vietnam.
  • Silver School of Social Work professor and NYU Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health Director Vincent Guilamo-Ramos was principle author of an article in the American Journal of Public Health noting that while the federal government is seeking to put an end to HIV transmission in the United States, the number of estimated annual new HIV infections in the US has increased among Hispanic/Latino populations by 14% or more. The article has receceived national press attention, including this piece in Newsweek.
  • Ralph DiClemente, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, associate dean of public health innovation, and professor of social and behavioral sciences in the College of Global Public Health, recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).
  • Danielle Ompad, associate professor of epidemiology at NYU College of Global Public Health and deputy director of the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research, outlined how to mitigate rising HIV rates associated with the opioid epidemic.
  • Holly Hagan, co-director of the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research and professor at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing, previously served as principal investigator in New York City on the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Project. More recently, she is chairing the Executive Steering Committee of the Rural Opioid Initiative, a collaborative project of the CDC, the NIH, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, and the Appalachian Regional Commission that funds nine research projects in areas with some of the highest rates of overdose and HIV infection.
  • Last month, NYU Langone hosted physicians and scientists for “Curing the Unknown,” a historical panel discussion on the impacts of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in NYC and at NYU.


  • In 1985, NYU Wagner Associate Dean David Schacter (Tisch ’82, Wagner ’94) starred in the first feature film on AIDS ever produced. Buddies depicts the relationship between a person with the disease and his volunteer buddy.
  • The former AIDS Awareness Society at NYU College of Dentristy produced a short film in honor of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2016 as a call to action for others to help in the global fight against the disease.
  • A 2015 NYU Fales Library exhibition explored early responses—from artists, media, and the government—to the AIDS crisis in NYC.
  • RENT Director and former NYU Head of Acting for Tisch’s New Studio on Broadway Kenneth Noel Mitchell reflected on how HIV influenced the iconic musical.