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World AIDS Day: The Battle Against The Disease Rages On

Campaigners speak of a decline in new infections and an increase in treatment around the world.

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December 1 is World AIDS Day.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

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.

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.
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.

Akintunde Akinleye / Reuters

Soccer players take part in a charity football match for World AIDS Day in Lagos, November 30, 2013.

And in Asia, cases have increased from 18,000 in 2001 to 41,000.

Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters

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.

However, the United Nations says the "end of AIDS" in the Asia-Pacific is achievable within the next 15 years.

Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters

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.

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.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

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