Wednesday, December 01, 2004

World AIDS Day

In case you didn't notice the little AIDS ribbon on Google frontpage, today 1st December 2004 is World AIDS day, which is about reminding us all that HIV is an issue for everyone. The World Health Organization just released their 2004 AIDS epidemic update (available in multiple languages). The overview inform us that 39 millions people are currently living with AIDS worldwide, with 5 millions new infections and 3.1 millions deaths (including 500 000 children) this year. As you can see, the epidemic is far from being controlled, despite 20 years of intense research and International awareness. Quote from the report : "AIDS is affecting new sections of populations, and an increasing proportion of people are becoming infected through unprotected heterosexual intercourse." People think that they're safe, that antiretrovirals can cure HIV/AIDS. This isn't the case. Protect yourself and be responsible. Get tested if you're at risk.

You can look at the developed countries (Northern America / Europe) report here. The world's most affected region report, sub-Sahara Africa, is available here. In some countries, prevalence in pregnant women reach 40%. With an in-utero transmission rate of 30% (without antiretrovirals or special care during labor/birth), the situation is quite alarming. The World Health Organization has made women a priority in their AIDS program. Note that the number of women living with HIV increases in each region of the world.

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