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Red Lights To Shine On Zakim Bridge

 The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will affix red lenses on the lamps illuminating the Zakim Bridge in Boston to mark the 2009 World AIDS Day. (AP)
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will affix red lenses on the lamps illuminating the Zakim Bridge in Boston to mark the 2009 World AIDS Day. (AP)

Red lights will shine from the London Eye on Tuesday night. They'll also beam from Coit Tower in San Francisco.

Here in Boston, the Zakim Bridge will join more than a dozen urban landmarks around the world to be illuminated with red lights in honor of World AIDS Day.

From dusk Tuesday until dawn Wednesday morning, the Zakim Bridge's lights will be covered with red lenses paid for by RED, an organization co-founded by Bono from U2 that works to fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

As World AIDS Day is observed, there are more than 20,000 Massachusetts residents living with HIV. It's still a public health concern — with no cure and no vaccine.

But Rochelle Walensky, an AIDS specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, said she finds some recent statistics promising.

"About five years ago it was thought that one in three people with HIV in the United States did not know that they had HIV infection," Walensky said. "Those numbers are thought now to be down to about one in five."

She says increasing the number of people who know they are HIV positive should curb the number of new infections.

This program aired on December 1, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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