World Aids Day is held on December 1st each year to band people together in the fight against HIV and health care leaders are calling for continued support, as almost 35 million people remain infected worldwide.

The global health day was held for the first time in 1988 and is a reminder that there is still a need to raise money and awareness to improve education and lessen the stigmas for those diagnosed with the virus.

About 75,000 Canadians were living with HIV at the end of 2014 and according to national statistics about 9% of those were Aboriginal people.

The infection rates for aboriginal communities in Canada are higher than the national average and on Tuesday aboriginal leaders gathered in Calgary to launch Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week.