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)
A woman receives information on the use of condoms to protect against HIV in Santiago. Chilean organizations fighting the spread of AIDS offered free blood tests and handed out 20,000 free condoms. Authorities estimate that of the almost 50,000 HIV-positive people in Chile, many are unaware they have the virus. (Image: © Felipe Trueba/EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)
A girl shows the red ribbon she made at Shiyan Medical Health School in Shiyan City, central China's Hubei Province. (Image: © Cao Zhonghong/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
AIDS volunteers and Berlin citizens gather around the Lichtmeer ("light sea") at Wittenbergplatz Square in Berlin. The latest statistics showed that some 3,400 people in Germany were infected with HIV in 2012, while about 78,000 people in Germany are HIV positive. (Image: © Pan Xu/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
HIV-positive children wearing masks form the shape of a red ribbon during an awareness campaign in Mumbai, India. (Image: © Stringer/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Students wear headdresses in Jakarta. UNAIDS predicted last week that there will be an increase of about 76,000 new HIV infection cases in Indonesia every year. Indonesia is determined to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the vast archipelago country as new cases has kept growing, the country's health minister said Friday. (Image: © Veri Sanovri/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Women hold candles in Quetta, southwest Pakistan. (Image: © Iqbal Hussain/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgenders (LGBT) organizations wear red ribbons during a parade in Quezon City. (Image: © Rouelle Umali/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
A volunteer dressed like a condom in Seoul, South Korea. (Image: © Park Jin-Hee/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Activists attend a rally in Colombo. (Image: © Pushpika Karunaratne/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
A woman lights candles in the shape of a red ribbon as hundreds mark World AIDS Day with a candlelit procession through Manchester, England's "Gay Village." Campaigners are urging people to take regular HIV tests. It's estimated as many as one in four HIV-positive people do not know they are infected with the virus. (Image: © Joel Goodman/London News Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Bundled against the cold, Bertha Walker passes by a field of AIDS markers in front of First Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennesses. (Image: © Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal/ZUMAPRESS.com)
This year's World AIDS Day theme is "Getting to Zero." Here's a list of the highest-rated international AIDS charities according to Charity Navigator.
Are you marking World AIDS Day?