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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

AIDS and HIV Infection a Growing Problem Worldwide, Report Finds

November 28, 1996|From Times staff reports

Despite the good news about AIDS drugs in the United States, AIDS and HIV infection remains a serious and growing problem in the rest of the world, according to a new United Nations report issued Thursday. According to the report, there were 3.1 million new HIV infections in 1996, bringing the total to 22.6 million people living with the infection. More than 1.5 million people died from the disease in 1996, bringing the total to 6.4 million. Children have been especially hard hit by the epidemic, said Dr. Peter Piot, head of the UN program, with 1.4 million dead, about 1 million living with HIV infection and more than 1 million orphaned by the disease.

The history of the epidemic in Africa and Southeast Asia is repeating itself in Eastern Europe and Russia, Piot said. The disease is making sharp inroads in the intravenous drug-abusing and homosexual populations, the report noted, and the spread of sexual promiscuity--as indicated by sharp increases in sexually transmitted diseases--will carry it into the rest of the population.

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