December 1 is World AIDS Day.
A Nepalese transgender person has a red ribbon drawn on her back to show support for people living with HIV during a program to raise awareness about AIDS on the World AIDS Day in Kathmandu December 1, 2013. Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
Speaking to Britain’s Independent on Sunday UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé said:
We are winning against this epidemic, we are seeing a decline in new infections, an increase in people treated… we have broken the conspiracy of silence.
However, as this infographic from Concern makes clear work still needs to be done to help the 7,000 people infected every day.
Of this figure, 97% live in under-nourished countries.
Sidibe told the Independent on Sunday that while there’s less stigma around the disease:
We have not been able to change completely the perception of people against the most-at-risk populations. The stigma, discrimination and criminalisation of those people – sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men – all those groups are mainly at risk of continuing to be completely forgotten.
Some 1.6 million people were infected with the disease in Africa last year. However, this is 40% lower than in 2001.
Soccer players take part in a charity football match for World AIDS Day in Lagos, November 30, 2013. Akintunde Akinleye / Reuters
And in Asia, cases have increased from 18,000 in 2001 to 41,000.
Patients rest inside a HIV/AIDS hospice, founded by a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, in the suburbs of Yangon, December 1, 2013. Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters
However, the United Nations says the “end of AIDS” in the Asia-Pacific is achievable within the next 15 years.
Gananma, a three-year-old who lost her parents to AIDS two years ago and is herself infected by the virus, plays with a volunteer at a HIV/AIDS hospice, founded by a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, in the suburbs of Yangon, December 1, 2013. Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters
You can find out more about World AIDS Day here.
And for further reading, here is a Buzzfeed profile of Gao Yaojie, a gynecologist who exposed the horrifying cause of an AIDS epidemic in rural China — and the ensuing cover-up — and became an enemy of the state.