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AIDS, HIV soar in India

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NEW DELHI, Jul 25, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The number of people in India infected with the HIV/AIDS virus has risen sharply, a report issued Friday said.

More than 4.5 million Indians were infected by the end of 2002, India's National Aids Control Organization said.

The figure for 2001 was below four million, the BBC reported.

The figures were released in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on the eve of a major conference on HIV/AIDS.

More than a thousand political leaders from across India, including the prime minister, senior federal and state officials, legislators, mayors and local leaders will attend.

It is the biggest forum on AIDS ever held in India and is also being attended by U.N. officials and non-government organizations.

India has the second highest rate of HIV infection after South Africa.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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