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India Could Soon Have the Highest Number of People With HIV/AIDS, Says US Ambassador

November 7, 2002

At an AIDS prevention conference in Madras Wednesday, US Ambassador Robert Blackwill said, "If the disease is unchecked here, India could soon surpass South Africa with the highest number of HIV/AIDS sufferers in the world." UNAIDS says 4 million Indians are infected, second only to South Africa, where 4.7 million people have HIV. Citing a US government report, Blackwill said 25 million people in India could be infected by 2010. The United States plans to double its AIDS prevention assistance to India during the next five years. The Indian government maintains its prevention programs are paying off and the number of new cases is stabilizing. With the help of donor agencies, India has launched programs including cheap drug distribution and AIDS awareness promotion among school children.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press

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