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HIV Deaths at All-Time High

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UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Nov 25, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The infection and death rates of HIV have reached an all-time high, with 5 million new infections and 3 million deaths in the past year, a report said Tuesday.

The findings are contained in the "AIDS Epidemic Update 2003," authored jointly by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

The report said an estimated 40 million people are living with HIV worldwide, including 2.5 million children under the age of 15. Globally, an estimated 5 million people were newly infected and 3 million have died of AIDS so far in 2003.

Sub-Saharan Africa, the most severely affected region of the world, accounted for more than 3 million of the new infections and 2.3 million AIDS deaths.

Every day in 2003, an estimated 14,000 people were newly infected with HIV. More than 95 percent of those live in low- and middle-income countries, the report said.

The findings were released in advance of World AIDS Day, commemorated each Dec. 1.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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