Global AIDS epidemic continues to grow: WHO
Nov 30, 2006 - 4:25:10 PM

London/Geneva, Nov 30 - Despite progress being made in many countries in tackling HIV/AIDS, the global epidemic continues to grow, latest figures published by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization - show.

According to a UNAIDS report presented in London earlier this year, around 65 million people have been infected with HIV and AIDS, which has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognised in 1981.

An estimated 40 million people globally are currently living with HIV/AIDS. In 2005 AIDS claimed the lives of 2.9 million people and 4.3 million were newly infected with the virus.

At around 17.3 million, women make up almost half of the total number of people living with the virus, 13.2 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most affected region in the world, accounting for two-thirds of all sufferers.

However, the figures also revealed that growing epidemics are underway in eastern Europe and central Asia, where infection rates have risen by more than 50 percent in the past two years.

Figures for eastern Europe and central Asia showed that 1.5 million people were living with AIDS in the region, which reported 220,000 new infections in 2005.

There was also growing evidence that HIV outbreaks among men, who have sex with men, was on the rise in Asia and Latin America. There were also big jumps in this group in European countries.

Declines in HIV prevalence were reported from countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Haiti and four Indian states, including Tamil Nadu.

Worldwide, less than one in five people at risk of becoming infected with HIV have access to basic prevention services. Across the world, only one in eight people who want to be tested are currently able to do so.

Each day, 1,500 children worldwide become infected with HIV, the vast majority of them newborns. In 2005, nine percent of pregnant women in low-and-middle-income countries were offered services to prevent transmission to their newborn babies.

All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited ( )