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    Global Report: AIDS at a Crossroads

    38.6 Million People Worldwide Living With HIV in 2005, Says United Nations

    Africa Hardest Hit

    "Africa remains the global epicenter of the AIDS pandemic," states the report.

    The U.N. reports that HIV rates "appear to be leveling off" in sub-Saharan Africa (countries located below the Saharan Desert) but remain especially high in countries in southern Africa.

    For instance, in the southern African nation of Swaziland, about one in three adults are infected with HIV. In Botswana, also located in southern Africa, nearly one in four adults -- 24% -- had HIV in 2005.

    Southern African nations show "no clear signs of declining HIV prevalence," the report states.

    HIV Around the World

    The report includes these global statistics:

    • About 8.3 million people in Asia were living with HIV at the end of 2005.
    • 2/3 of Asians with HIV in 2005 live in India.
    • HIV continues to spread in eastern Europe and central Asia (about 1.5 million people with HIV in 2005).
    • In Latin America, 1.6 million people have HIV.

    The U.N.'s report doesn't break down HIV/AIDSHIV/AIDS statistics for the U.S. According to the CDC, about 1.04 million to 1.18 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2003, with about a quarter of them -- 24% to 27% -- undiagnosed and unaware of their HIV infection.

    Treatment Gap

    The U.N. reports that "between 2001 and 2005, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries increased from 240,000 to approximately 1.3 million."

    "Globally, however, antiretroviral drugs still reach only one in five who need them," states the report.

    The U.N. calls for steps including:

    • Sharply increase voluntary HIV counseling and testing.
    • Reduce HIV stigma.
    • Train and make better use of providers of HIV-related services.
    • Improve supply of drugs to treat HIV.
    • Integrate HIV care with other health services.
    • Increase attention to groups including men who have sex with men, IV drug users, sex workers, and prisoners.
    • Address the societal views, which place low status on women and girls.

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