Images of Richard Gere kissing Celebrity Big Brother star Shilpa Shetty at an Aids awareness event in India have caused protests across the country.

Gere and Shetty were gathered in New Delhi at the awareness meeting when the American actor exclaimed to the Indian truckers present: "No condom, no sex."

The crowd then cheered as Gere held Shetty in his arms and kissed her a number of times on her hand and the side of her face.

Protesters have since burned effigies of Gere on The Streets of Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi while shouting "down with Gere".

One Aids campaigner reacted less angrily, saying: "I think he responded as an actor. He was playing to the gallery. I don't see anything bad."

According to the United Nations Aids agency there were 5.7 million people in India living with HIV by the end of 2005 and truckers are thought to be among the high risk groups.

Although there are alternative figures, it is thought that India has the highest number of people living with HIV in the world.

16/04/2007 16:19:47