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Around the World, 40 Million Living with HIV

Some progress in Kenya, Zimbabwe and certain Caribbean nations

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Adult HIV infection rates have dropped in some countries, but globally an estimated 40.3 million people now live with HIV, according to a new report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization. This is the highest level ever, and an increase from 37.5 million in 2003.

The annual report, AIDS Epidemic Update 2005, found that HIV infection rates dropped in Kenya, Zimbabwe and several Caribbean nations, due in part to more condom-use and fewer sexual partners. In Kenya, adult infection rates dropped from 10% in the late 1990s to 7% in 2003, the report indicates.

But with an extra 5 million new infections in 2005, the number of people living with HIV has grown in all the world's regions except the Caribbean, according to the report. More than 3 million people died of AIDS in 2005.

The sharpest rise in HIV infection occurred in Eastern Europe, Central and Eastern Asia. But sub-Saharan African remains the most affected, with 64% of new cases. The joint report was released ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

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