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HIV/AIDS cases is on the rise in countries

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November 23rd, 2006

HIV/AIDS cases is on the rise in countries where infection rates were previously stable or declining, the UN has said. The global epidemic continues to grow with 2.9 million deaths and 4.3 million new HIV infections in the past year, the world body reported on Tuesday in its AIDS epidemic update.In North America and Western Europe, prevention programmes have often not been sustained and new infection rates have remained the same. In low- and middle-income countries, there are only a few examples of rate reductions. And some countries that had shown earlier successes in reducing new infections, such as Uganda, have either slowed or are now experiencing increasing infection rates.

“This is worrying as we know increased HIV prevention programmes in these countries have shown progress in the past. Uganda is a prime example,” UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot said.
“This means that countries are not moving at the same speed as their epidemics. We need to greatly intensify lifesaving prevention efforts while we expand HIV treatment programmes,” he said.There is increasing evidence of outbreaks among men who have sex with men in Pakistan, Nepal, China, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam as well as across Latin America, but most national programmes fail to address the specific needs of these people, the report noted. The overlap between injecting drug use and sex work in Latin America, Eastern Europe and particularly Asia is also not being addressed. In Latin America, the Caribbean, West Asia and North Africa, the surveillance is often weak.

“It is imperative that we continue to increase investment in both HIV prevention and treatment services to reduce unnecessary deaths and illness from this disease,” World Health Organization acting director-general Anders Nordstrwm said. “In sub-Saharan Africa, the worst affected region, life expectancy at birth is now just 47 years, which is 30 years less than most high-income countries,” he added.

More then 30% rise in HIV cases in China,The number of reported HIV/AIDS cases in China has grown by nearly 30% so far this year, the Chinese health ministry said, warning the virus seemed to be spreading from high-risk groups to the general public. The reported number of cases at the end of October had risen to 183,733, up from 144,089 at the end of last year, the ministry said in a statement. Of the cases diagnosed by government test centres and which could thus be officially followed up, 40,667 had developed into AIDS.

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