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In 1988, December 1 was designated World AIDS Day to help raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by HIV and those who died from complications with the disease. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) damages the immune system and could lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) without treatment.  Today advancement in treatment has helped those living with HIV to lead healthy lives. World AIDS Day commemorates those lives lost and the journey to one day ending HIV.