Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
UNAIDS, WHO Release Biannual Report on State of Global HIV/AIDS
UNAIDS and the World Health Organization today released the "AIDS Epidemic Update," a biannual report on the state of HIV/AIDS worldwide, the Associated Press reports. According to the report, 42 million individuals worldwide are currently living with HIV, approximately two million more than last year. Five million new infections occurred during 2002, and three million individuals will die of AIDS-related causes this year. In addition, women now account for 50% of all HIV cases. UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot said that the shift of the HIV epidemic toward women will "ultimately exacerbate" the spread of the virus because women can pass HIV to their children during childbirth or through breastfeeding, the Associated Press reports. According to the report, sub-Saharan African is still "by far" the region most affected by HIV/AIDS, and women in that region make up 70% of all HIV cases (Ross, Associated Press, 11/26). According to Agence France-Presse, the report also "warn[s]" China, India and other Asian nations that their "window of opportunity" to control the HIV/AIDS epidemics there is "narrowing rapidly." The region currently has approximately 7.2 million HIV-positive individuals -- nearly one million more than last year -- and 11 million more infections could occur there by 2007 "unless concerted and effective action is taken to increase access to HIV prevention and care in the region," according to the report (Agence France-Presse, 11/26). The report also states that HIV/AIDS is "expanding rapidly" in Eastern Europe ("AIDS Epidemic Update," UNAIDS/WHO, December 2002). The report is available online.
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