Number of HIV infections stabilizes, says UN

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Taj Mahal
India overtook South Africa in number of HIV-infected

The proportion of people living with HIV / AIDS may be stabilizing in the world in general, but in particular countries like China and Indonesia, the disease continues to increase, indicating the annual report of the UN Program for AIDS.

According to the report, released on Tuesday, infections appear to have reached a peak in the years after 90 to remain in a relatively stable level.

In it believes to be the most accurate picture of the disease in the world already made, the UN says is the first time that the number of new infections does not grow on 25 years.

Still, the UN estimates that 38,6 million people were living with HIV / AIDS worldwide in 2005 and the absolute number of infected continues to grow simply by population growth and by prolonging the lives of HIV positive through antiretroviral therapies based.

Just last year, more than four million people contracted the HIV virus and 2,8 million died from the disease.

With nearly one thousand infected 620, Brazil has the largest population of HIV positive in Latin America, as the report says, by population size. As in recent years, the UN praises Brazil's program to combat the disease.

Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by the disease worldwide, the proportion of people with AIDS has, in most countries, although it remained stable, according to UNAIDS, this happens at the expense of the high mortality of those infected.

"This apparent stabilization of the epidemic reflects situations where the numbers of people being infected with HIV is almost equivalent to the numbers of people dying from AIDS-related illnesses," the report warns.

"A little more than a tenth of the world population lives in sub-Saharan Africa, home to almost 64% of all people living with HIV - 24,5 million. Two million of them are children younger than 15 years. "

Also according to the report, about 930 thousand adults and children died of AIDS in South Africa in 2005 - which represents a third of all deaths from the disease last year.

But the UN also highlights the exceptions of Kenya, Zimbabwe and urban areas of Burkina Faso, where the disease has been decreasing.

Another case of decline highlighted in the report is that of Angola, where the isolation caused by 27 years of civil war have somewhat contained HIV transmission.

In absolute terms, India has become the country with the largest number of infected. With about 5,7 million infected people, surpassed South Africa (5,5 million).

The epidemic also continues to spread in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, regions where there 220 thousand new infections last year, bringing to 1,5 million the number of HIV positive - 20 times more than a decade earlier. With the infection rate also increases the rate of mortality.

Most people infected with HIV in the region are in Ukraine, where new cases continue to rise, and Russia, the European country most affected by the epidemic. In the case of the Russians, however, the number of new diagnoses confirming the presence of HIV is stabilizing. Other countries where the disease is spreading more are Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Regarding the United States, the UN says there were mixed results, with a population record seropositive (1,2 million) reflecting the success of antiretroviral treatment based on while little progress in prevention efforts.

In Latin America, the UN estimates that 140 thousand people have contracted HIV in 2005, bringing to 1,6 million people infected. Also last year, the region lost 59 thousand people to the disease.