This is the annual World AIDS Day and the focus this year is women and girls living with the disease.
In Geneva, the World Health Organization marked Wednesday by urging that nations take steps to ensure women and girls are given better access to AIDS prevention and treatment services. The agency said 47 percent of those infected with the AIDS virus around the globe are female.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies joined with other organizations in calling for improved responses to HIV - AIDS around the world.
Human Rights Watch urged countries to drop restrictions on information about condoms, which the U.S.-based organization says remain the single most effective device against sexually transmitted HIV.
World AIDS Day is held each year to raise awareness of HIV - AIDS, which affects tens of millions of people.