[IWAR] AIDS estimates revised upward

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Wed Nov 26 1997 - 16:39:54 PST

  • Next message: Michael Wilson: "[IWAR] MARKETS organized crime"

                     AIDS epidemic vastly underestimated, U.N. says
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 The Associated Press
       PARIS (November 26, 1997 12:23 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- More
       than 30 million people worldwide are now living with the AIDS virus, and
       about 16,000 new victims are infected every day, the United Nations said
       Wednesday in a report that showed previous figures underestimated the
       contagion's reach by one-third.
       One in every 100 sexually active adults between the ages of 15 and 49 is
       infected with HIV, and only one in 10 knows he or she is infected,
       UNAIDS said in a report released in Paris.
       "The main message of our report is the AIDS epidemic is far from over.
       In fact, it's far worse," said Peter Piot, director general of UNAIDS.
       The report said that if current rates hold steady, the number of people
       infected with the immune-stripping disease "will soar to 40 million" and
       the impact of AIDS mortality "is only just beginning."
       Earlier figures on HIV infection were far lower because analysts
       underestimated the rate of infections, particularly in sub-Saharan
       Africa, the report said.
       Instead of relying on regional estimates, "for the first time, we went
       country-to-country to see what was happening," Piot said. "The rate of
       transmission was grossly underestimated," especially in Nigeria and
       South Africa, he said.
       Rates are also rising in Eastern Europe, primarily due to intravenous
       drug users and lack of AIDS education.
       Even in the West, Piot said, "prevention efforts are insufficient for
       youth. I have a daughter at a school here, and what she's getting in
       terms of sex education is inadequate."
       Bernard Kouchner, the French junior minister for health, told reporters
       he was pressing for a world fund to fight AIDS.
       The report said 5.8 million people have been infected in 1997 and an
       estimated 5.3 million were infected in 1996, up from the count of 3.1
       million people that doctors originally estimated.
       The epidemic has struck young people the hardest, Piot said. "Most of
       them are under 25 years old
       "It is estimated that 2.3 million people died of AIDS in 1997 -- a 50
       percent increase over 1996. Nearly half of those deaths were in women,
       and 460,000 were in children under 15," the report said.
       In the developing world, AIDS is wiping out gains in life expectancy
       made in recent decades, the report said.
       The report paints a devastating picture of AIDS-ravaged sub-Saharan
       Africa, with 7.4 percent of people ages 15 to 49 thought to be infected.
       Among the stark African news, the report said that:
       --The number of HIV-infected people in Botswana has doubled over the
       past five years, to 25 percent to 30 percent of the adult population.
       AIDS has wiped out gains in life expectancy, which had risen from under
       43 years in 1955 to 61 years in 1990.
       --One in five adults in Zimbabwe was HIV-positive in 1996, and in one
       town with a large population of migrant workers, seven of 10 pregnant
       women were HIV-positive in 1995.
       --Twenty-five percent more infants are dying in Zambia and Zimbabwe than
       would be the case if there were no HIV. AIDS is expected to push
       Zimbabwe's infant mortality rate up 138 percent by 2010.
       Uganda is Africa's bright spot, reporting falling infection rates that
       were credited to education and wider condom use.
       Asia's AIDS epidemic is more recent than Africa's, the report said,
       though India's 3 million to 5 million HIV-infected people make it the
       country with the most HIV-infected people in the world.
       Indicating Asia's figures could jump later, the report cautioned that
       estimates there are made on "less information than in other regions." In
       the world's most populous nation, China reported up to 200,000 cases and
       the figure was expected to double this year, it said.
       By CHRISTOPHER BURNS, Associated Press

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 12:54:13 PDT