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Are A. I. D. S. epidemic deaths increasing at an increasing rate?
Jan 3, 1997

Are acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemic deaths increasing at an increasing rate?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

When we're talking about AIDS, we're really seeing 2 different epidemics. One is in Western/Developed nations, and the other is in Third World nations.

In Western nations (including the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia etc.), the death rate is not increasing. This is due to better treatments (for example the new Protease Inhibitors), and earlier medical intervention. At this time, the number of new HIV infections is approximately equal to the number of deaths due to AIDS. Therefore, in this part of the world, at any one time, the number of cases of people infected with HIV is presently remaining about the same. The current overall case-fatality rate in the USA is 62.7 among adult AIDS cases, and 57.1 among pediatric (<13 years of age) AIDS cases. However, we are seeing some troubling new statistics of a resurgence of HIV in the Gay community. So I can't say what is going to happen in the years to come.

In Third World nations, the people in these countries (including African nations, Thailand, India, Vietnam etc.) do not have access to these new treatments and drugs. I'm not sure if the death rate is staying the same or increasing, but it is not decreasing. We are however seeing a large increase in the number of new cases in Africa and Asia. Unless new treatments become available to this part of the world, the death rate will remain higher than in Western nations.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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