- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 16, 2004

Between 36 million and 46 million people, two-thirds of them in Africa, are infected with human immunovirus (HIV), which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It can be transmitted by unprotected sex, sharing of needles, transfusion of infected blood, improperly sterilized hospital tools and from mother to child during pregnancy or by breast feeding.

Last year, 3 million people died of the disease and 5 million more were infected, according to a report last week by the World Health Organization titled “Changing History.” The study stressed an urgent need to accelerate both treatment and prevention efforts and to make access to antiretroviral therapy, which can prolong the lives of those infected, available to nearly 6 million people in poor countries. Only 400,000 poor people urgently requiring the drug therapy are currently receiving it.


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