What the HIV epidemic looks like in 2012

As 2012 comes to an end, a new photographic exhibition shows that while glimmers of hope have emerged in the global HIV epidemic, much work remains to be done.

For more than 20 years, the world has lived in fear of the human immunodeficiency virus. But as 2012 comes to an end, glimmers of hope have emerged.

In November, the United Nations reported that the number of AIDS-related deaths worldwide had fallen for the fifth year in a row to 1.7 million people in 2011. That's a 5.6% decrease from 2010 and 24% compared with 2005.

"We are moving from despair to hope," UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe told reporters in Geneva.

Some 25 countries, many in Africa, have at least halved new HIV infections in the past decade and there has been particular progress towards protecting children from the deadly virus.

In November, an exhibition of more