All photos above are of HIV-positive people.
Click on each image to read their personal story.
World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization. This year's important event focuses on the vulnerability of women and girls to the HIV pandemic.
Women now account for nearly half of the world's approximately 40 million cases of HIV. HIV rates are even higher in the "newer" areas of the epidemic: The number of HIV-positive women in East Asia jumped by 56% in the past year alone, and in Africa nearly 60% of all HIV infections are among women. In sub-Saharan Africa, three out of every four HIV-positive youths are women.
Worse, these frightening numbers are bound to only grow higher, thanks both to biological reasons -- a woman is simply more susceptible to HIV than a man -- and to a climate of stigma, abuse and discrimination that prevails throughout much of the world. Unless we as a society work harder to empower women everywhere to protect themselves from infection, the pandemic will increasingly take on a woman's face, and continue to threaten the stability of societies and governments across the globe.
Learn more about the state of the HIV pandemic among women and girls. Click here.
The Body is a service of Remedy Health Media, LLC, 750 3rd Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017. The Body and its logos are trademarks of Remedy Health Media, LLC, and its subsidiaries, which owns the copyright of The Body's homepage, topic pages, page designs and HTML code. General Disclaimer: The Body is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through The Body should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.