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Cristo Redentor lit red to mark AIDS Day

Rio de Janeiro's famed Christ the Redeemer statue glowed a bright hue of red Sunday (December 1) night as the city marked World AIDS Day which is observed around the world every December 1. The prominent statue, which overlooks the city and can be seen from almost all corners, stood out a little more as the bright red lights lit it up against a cloudy backdrop. Rio de Janeiro's Metropolitan Cathedral was also lit up in red in solidarity with the 35.3 million people UNAIDS estimates are currently living with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. In Brazil it is estimated that 700,000 people live with the virus, and an estimated 150,000 of those are unaware of their HIV status. The Brazilian government has stepped up testing efforts across the country. Officials also said treatment protocol will be changed to allow patients to receive medication immediately after being diagnosed as opposed to starting treatment only after it begins affecting the immune system.

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