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UNAIDS finds fewer cases of HIV among infants
According to BBC News, a new report issued by the United Nations' AIDS action group, UNAIDS, noted that the 330,000 new cases of HIV reported in infants last year is a 24-percent decrease from 2009.
The report also stated that additional efforts are needed to achieve the goals of reducing the number of HIV infections due to sexual intercourse by 50 percent and providing antiretroviral therapy to all HIV patients by 2015.
Regions in Sub-Saharan Africa have some of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, although they have made progress as of late, noted the UNAIDS report. Areas like Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, on the other hand, have experienced a rise in deaths attributed to the virus.
"Ethiopia, Malawi and Botswana have achieved big reductions in new infections, showing they are capable of controlling the epidemic. Twenty-five countries have reduced the number of new infections by more than 50 percent," Michael Sidibe, the executive director of UNAIDS, told the news source. "In general, we've moved from a phase of political rhetoric to programs being implemented and having an effect. But some countries aren't using the right strategies - Russia, for example, where infections are still growing."
BBC News noted that one of the measures that the report recommended to reduce the number of HIV infections involves providing more opportunities for men to be circumcised. Currently, there is research underway to find a way to conduct circumcisions without surgeries, so nurses will be able to perform them as well as doctors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were nearly 1,148,200 people above the age of 13 who were estimated to be HIV positive in 2009, 207,600 of whom are undiagnosed. The source also reports that nearly 50,000 people contract the virus each year in the United States.
AIDS.gov reports that nearly 61 percent of new HIV infections in 2009 were in the gay and bisexual population, also known as men who have sex with men (MSM). In 2008, 49 percent of people who had HIV were MSM.
According to the source, in 2009, 23 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to heterosexual contact, while 28 percent of all HIV patients were classified as heterosexual in 2008. Nearly 9 percent of 2009's new HIV cases were in intravenous drug users, and in 2008 they comprised 17 percent of all people in the U.S. living with HIV.
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