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Their research had been funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, both entities within NIH.

The global HIV/AIDS epidemic peaked around 1999, according to a 2010 report issued by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS’ report. However, as of 2009, despite major inroads in prevention and treatment, there were 2.6 million new HIV infections, 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and 1.8 million deaths resulting from the infection in 2009, the agency said.

In the United States, there are about 50,000 new HIV infections a year, 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and 15,500 who died of the infection in 2010, according to federal data.