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HIV Infection Put at 36 Million; 3 Million Deaths Expected in 2000

November 25, 2000|Associated Press

GENEVA — HIV cases in the former Soviet bloc will rise by 60% this year as the worldwide number of people infected by the virus that causes AIDS tops 36 million, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The U.N. health body said there are an estimated 250,000 new cases in Eastern Europe and Central Asia this year, bringing the total there to 700,000.

"Most of the infections continue to occur among injecting drug users," WHO said, noting that the epidemic hit the region only in the 1990s after the fall of communism.

The estimates by WHO and UNAIDS, in a weekly report released ahead of a major study on the virus next week, said that there will be about 5.3 million new cases of HIV infection this year, including 600,000 children younger than 15, and that 3 million people will die of AIDS.

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