World HIV infection overestimated by 7 million

By New Scientist staff and Reuters The United Nations has slashed its estimates of how many people are infected with the AIDS virus, from nearly 40 million to 33 million. In a report to be issued on Tuesday, the UN says revised estimates on HIV in India account for a large part of the decrease. The agency admits that it overestimated how many people are infected with the incurable virus, and says better methods of collecting data show it is not quite a common as feared. “The single biggest reason for this reduction was the intensive exercise to assess India’s HIV epidemic, which resulted in a major revision of that country’s estimates,” the report says. Having originally estimated some 5.7 million people were infected in India, the UN has now more than halved that estimate to 2.5 million. But the numbers nonetheless show the epidemic is overwhelming and that efforts to fight HIV must still be stepped up, say officials at the UN AIDS agency UNAIDS. “These improved data present us with a clearer picture of the AIDS epidemic, one that reveals both challenges and opportunities,” says UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot. “Unquestionably, we are beginning to see a return on investment,” Piot adds. “But with more than 6,800 new infections, and over 5,700 deaths each day due to AIDS, we must expand our efforts in order to significantly reduce the impact of AIDS worldwide.” UNAIDS estimates that 1.7 million people became infected in sub-Saharan Africa this year, which is a significant reduction since 2001. But Africa remains the continent hardest hit by AIDS, with 22.5 million people infected with HIV. “Eight countries in this region now account for almost one-third of all new HIV infections and AIDS deaths globally,” says UNAIDS in a statement. The report gives two reasons for the downward revisions – one is better data and the other is an actual decrease in the number of new infections. The number of new HIV infections each year likely peaked in the late 1990s at 3 million and was estimated at 2.5 million for 2007, UNAIDS said. “This reflects natural trends in the epidemic, as well as the result of HIV prevention efforts. Of the total difference in the estimates published in 2006 and 2007, 70% are due to changes in six countries: Angola, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe,” the report says. The UN has also changed its estimate on how long it takes to die of AIDS if not treated from 9 years to 11 years. HIV and AIDS – Learn more about the worst pandemic in human history in our continuously updated special report. More on these topics:
  • 首页
  • 游艇租赁
  • 电话
  • 关于我们