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International News

HIV's Impact Is Seen by UN as Worsening

February 27, 2003

AIDS is ravaging world population growth much more significantly than UN demographers had projected just two years ago, according to new figures published Wednesday by the UN population division. The report estimates that by 2050, AIDS will cause the populations of the hardest-hit nations to rise by 480 million fewer people. Only two years ago, UN demographers projected that AIDS would result in 300 million fewer people by mid-century.

The new estimate reflects both more AIDS deaths than previously expected and fewer births due to the early deaths of women of childbearing age. According to the report, this chilling revision reflects a "more serious and prolonged impact of the epidemic." UN population division Director Joseph Chamie said, "It's a catastrophe. We have to bring down mortality in these countries."

China accounts for 40 million of the increased number of expected AIDS deaths, while India accounts for 47 million. However, most of the 53 nations hit worst by AIDS are in sub-Saharan Africa where Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe report that more than 20 percent of their populations are HIV-infected. In just a dozen years, the UN projects that the population in these places will be 19 percent lower because of AIDS.

The unexpected increase in HIV prevalence is the main reason for the higher death projections, particularly in high-population countries such as India, Russia, China and Nigeria. In such places "even a small difference has a big effect on the number of excess deaths," Chamie said, when compared with previous estimates.

Back to other CDC news for February 27, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Wall Street Journal
02.27.03; Gautam Naik



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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