World AIDS Day in Gorgeous and Heartbreaking Pictures
Every year since 1988, people around the globe have marked World AIDS Day on December 1 with health awareness programs, demonstrations, red ribbons, and vigils.
This year comes with really good news: The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which releases an annual report on the state of the pandemic, announced that 25 countries have seen a 50% or greater drop in new HIV infections since 2001.
But the pandemic is far from over. An estimated 34 million people worldwide have HIV, according to UNAIDS. Though down in many regions, infection rates are up in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa. Seven million people with HIV who are eligible for life-saving antiretroviral treatment do not have access to it, and a shocking 72% of children who have HIV and are eligible for treatment also lack access to antiretrovirals.
Here are images from this year and recent years for World AIDS Day around the globe.
Students light candles in the shape of an AIDS ribbon in Indonesia. (Credit Image: © Sijori Images/ZUMAPRESS.com)