HIV 1998: The Global Picture; July 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Mann, Tarantola; 2 Page(s)
In 1996, after more than a decade of relentless rises, deaths from AIDS finally declined in the U.S. The drop appears to have stemmed mainly from the introduction of powerful therapies able to retard the activity of HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. Other economically advantaged nations, including France and Britain, have documented declines as well. But the trend in industrial countries is not representative of the world as a whole.
Further, the international pandemic of HIV infection and AIDS--composed of thousands of separate epidemics in communities around the globe--is expanding rapidly, particularly in the developing nations, where the vast majority of people reside. Since the early 1980s more than 40 million individuals have contracted HIV, and almost 12 million have died (leaving at least eight million orphans), according to UNAIDS, a program sponsored by the United Nations. In 1997 alone, nearly six million people-- close to 16,000 a day--acquired HIV, and some 2.3 million perished from it, including 460,000 children.