Main | Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UN To Reduce AIDS Count By Six Million

Saying they have overstated the reach of the AIDS pandemic, the United Nations' AIDS agency will release a report today reducing their count of total AIDS cases worldwide by six million, to 33.2 million.
The statistical changes reflect more accurate surveys, particularly in India and some populous African countries. Some epidemiologists have criticized for years the way estimates were made, and new surveys of thousands of households in several countries have borne them out.

In only a few countries, such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, do the figures reflect widespread behavioral changes, such as decisions by many people to have sex with fewer partners.

Excerpts from the report were given to the news media in advance for release this evening, but an embargo on it was broken by other news organizations. Despite the revised estimates, the epidemic remains one of the great scourges of mankind. This week’s analysis predicts that 2.1 million people died of AIDS in the last year, and 2.5 million were newly infected — or about 6,800 every day.

The agency now believes that the number of new infections each year with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, probably peaked in the late 1990s, or by 2001, at about 3 million.
Good new, of course. But still, 33.2 million.

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