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[Geneva, Switzerland], UNAIDS, 1998 Jun. 75 p.Estimates by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization indicate that, by the beginning of 1998, 30.6 million people were infected with HIV and 11.7 million HIV-related deaths had occurred. During 1997, 5.8 million new HIV infections were reported and 2.3 million people died of AIDS. Also in 1997, almost 600,000 children were infected with HIV, primarily through their mothers before or during birth or through breast feeding. At present, there are 8.2 million AIDS orphans. 89% of people with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa and the developing countries of Asia, which together account for less than 10% of the global gross national product. It will be a long time before the benefits conferred by combination antiretroviral therapy will be experienced in developing countries. Well-designed, carefully targeted prevention campaigns have been able to arrest or reverse HIV trends, however. The most effective campaigns work simultaneously on many levels, each initiative reinforcing the others. This UNAIDS report presents global estimates of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by the end of 1997 and summarizes current knowledge on AIDS orphans, the evolution of the AIDS epidemic in each world region, prevention efforts, injecting drug use and HIV, preventing sexual transmission of HIV among youth, HIV testing, HIV and mortality, treatment regimens, vertical transmission, and HIV/AIDS estimation techniques and indicators.