As the world marks the 21st Annual World AIDS Day, we are reminded that the small epidemic that was once thought to be a disease plaguing only gay men now affects all corners of the earth and people of all genders. We take a look today some of the ways people in a few parts of the world are observing an international day of remembrance.
India: Vershaben Vala, president of Aadhar, a community-based organization of people living with HIV/AIDS, prepares AIDS awareness publicity material on the eve of World Aids Day at Aadhar's community center in Ahmedabad. UNAIDS says some 2.5 million Indians are living with HIV, many of them ostracized by their communities.
India: Horses trot past an AIDS-awareness sand sculpture created by artist Sudarshan Pattnaik at Golden Sea beach in Puri.
South Korea: Volunteers dressed in condom costumes spread AIDS awareness in Seoul. More than 6,120 people in South Korea have become infected with HIV since the first case was reported in the country 26 years ago.
China: Students use red ribbons to form "AIDS" on Monday, one day ahead of World AIDS Day at a school in Hanshan in east China's Anhui province. China warned in a notice for World AIDS Day that transmission of the disease through gay sex was gaining pace and called for health authorities nationwide to step up prevention work. China's health ministry estimates that at the end of 2009, 740,000 people were living with HIV in the country of 1.3 billion, and the latest data shows that 48,000 were infected this year, according to UNAIDS.
Indonesia: Volunteers hold lanterns during a candlelight vigil to mark World AIDS Day in Jakarta.
Switzerland: United Nations employees form a red ribbon during a World AIDS Day event in front of the U.N. offices in Geneva.
Pakistan: Eunuchs hold banners to mark Worlds AIDS Day during a protest in Karachi. Karachi, Pakistan's largest metropolis and one of the biggest Muslim cities in the world, has up to 100,000 female sex workers, according to data gathered by Pakistan Society, a local welfare organization.
China: Red Cross volunteers take part in an AIDS awareness event on World AIDS Day at Beijing's south railway station to call for better government support of people with HIV or AIDS in China. China warned in a notice for World AIDS Day that homosexual transmission of the disease was gaining pace and called for health authorities nationwide to step up prevention work.
Indonesia: A volunteer lights candles during a ceremony to mark World AIDS Day in Jakarta.
United States: U.S. representative Danny K. Davis of Illinois participates in a World AIDS Day press conference at Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory to raise awareness of AIDS in Africa.
United States: Former president Bill Clinton participates in a panel discussion on World AIDS Day hosted by the Clinton Foundation and the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs with ICAP director Wafaa El-Sadr at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York. The panel was called, "Awareness, Access, Action: The Global and Domestic State of AIDS."
France: The Eiffel Tower shut off its lights for five minutes to mark World AIDS Day in Paris. The UNESCO campaign "Light for Rights" symbolized the universal right to access AIDS therapies, prevention, and human rights.