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JAMA. 2004 Jan 7; 291(1):31-32.The global AIDS epidemic infected an estimated 5 million individuals in 2003, bringing the world total of individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS to 40 million, said officials from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The disease claimed about 3 million lives--the highest toll ever for a single year. Although sub-Saharan Africa remains the most severely affected region, tallying two thirds of all infections and more than two thirds of all deaths, HIV also is spreading rapidly in Eastern Europe and making worrisome inroads in Asia, threatening the immense populations of China and India. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2002 Oct 12; 360(9340):1108-1110.This paper reports on the organization and administration of WHO under the management of Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland. It describes the three broad categories of the work of WHO and the several areas that are considered to be organization-wide priorities for WHO.
NEW YORK TIMES. 1992 Jun 4; A1, B10.The international AIDS Center at the Harvard School of Public Health led a coalition of AIDS research from around the world in an analysis of more than 100 AIDS programs and discovered that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is more serious than WHO claims. Its findings are in the book called AIDS in the World 1992. AIDS programs do not implement efforts that are known to prevent the spread of HIV. For example, clinicians in developing countries continue to transfuse unscreened blood to many patients, even though HIV serodiagnostic test have existed since 1985. Further, programs do not evaluate what works in other programs. As long as people debate whether or not to distribute condoms, exchange needles, or offer sex education and whether people with AIDS deserve care, the fight against HIV/AIDS is hindered. The report recommends that leader come up with a new strategy to address the AIDS pandemic. WHO claims to have done just that at its May 1992 meeting. An obstacle for WHO is political pressure from member nations. On the other hand, the private Swiss foundation, Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud, finances the Harvard-based AIDS program, allowing members more freedom to speak out. The head of the Harvard program believes the major impact of AIDS has not yet arrived. Contributing to the continual spread of HIV is the considerable difference of funding for AIDS prevention and control activities between developed and developing countries (e.g., $2.70 per person in the US and $1.18 in Europe vs. $.07 in sub-Saharan Africa and $.03 in Latin America). Even though developed countries provide about $780 million for AIDS prevention and care in developing countries, they do not enter in bilateral agreements with developing countries. 57 countries limit travel and immigration of people with HIV/AIDS. Further, efforts to drop these laws have stopped. Densely populated nations impose travel constraints to prevent an explosive spread of HIV.
[Unpublished] 1992. , 15 p. (WHO/GPA/RES/SFI/92.1)A summary of current state and future trends to HIV infections and AIDS cases in world regions prepared from the most recent information on file at the WHO Global Programme on AIDS as of January 1992. HIV infection and AIDS began in the 1980s or earlier in homosexual or bisexual men and intravenous drug users in urban Americas, Australia, and Western Europe, and in heterosexuals in East and Central Africa. There is another virus called HIV-2 with a lower virulence, but similar mode of transmission and clinical syndrome prevalent in West Africa. By 1992 450,000 AIDS cases were reported to WHO, but about 1.5 million AIDS cases are thought to have occurred, including 500,000 in children. About 9-11 million HIV infections, including 1 million in children, are estimated to exist. In Australia, North America, and Western Europe, spread of HIV to homosexuals has decreased, but growth in the intravenous drug-using population and heterosexuals may still occur. In Latin America prevalence is high in homosexual or bisexual men, injecting drug users, and prostitutes, and is increasing dramatically in women. In Africa heterosexual transmission is still the rule; infections from blood products account for about 10% of cases. In East and Central Africa 2/3 of the HIV cases are in 9 countries, where urban HIV prevalence reaches 25-33% in adults. In Africa there is also a growing problem of 750,000 pediatric AIDS so far, and possible 10 million orphans in the 1990s. Spread of HIV in high risk populations in South East Asia is rapid, notably in Bangkok, Thailand, in Yangon, Myanmar, and in Bombay and in northeastern India. The potential for spread in this region is a great concern. Areas of East Asia contiguous with South East Asia are also at risk. In Eastern Europe there are clusters of outbreaks related to improper use of blood products. WHO predicts that 4 million people have HIV and TB. WHO projects that global HIV infection will amount to 15-20 million by 2000. A major research topic and concern is estimation of when and at what level HIV prevalence will peak in world regions.