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* AIDS

  • AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which is transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, and unsafe drug-injecting practice, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding;

  • The global number of people living with HIV/AIDS at the start of 2003 is estimated at 42 million, including 3.2 million children under 15 years;

  • People newly infected with HIV in 2002 totalled 5 million. This included 2.2 million men, 2 million women and 800.000 children;

  • AIDS deaths in 2002 totalled 3.1 million i.e. 8.500 people per day. This included 1.3 million men, 1.2 million women, and 610.000 children;

  • Regional HIV/AIDS statistics show that Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 29.4 million adults and children living with HIV/AIDS with 3.5 million new infections in 2002, representing 70% of the global total;

  • This represents 8.8% of the Sub-Saharan adult population of which 58% are women;

  • In comparison, adult infection rates in other areas of the world are: East Asia & the Pacific, Australia & New Zealand 0.1%; Western Europe, North Africa & the Middle East 0.3%; North & South East Asia, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Latin and North America 0.6%; the Caribbean 2.4%;

There is no vaccine or cure yet for AIDS, but combined antiretroviral treatment helps.

Further Information

United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS: http://www.unaids.org
Global Funds: http://www.globalfundatm.org

Contact points at the European Commission for EC research on HIV/AIDS
(NB: to use either e-mail address below, copy it to your e-mail program and remove the space before the @; this is to reduce unwanted automated e-mail)

Manuel.Romaris @ec.europa.eu (vaccines and drugs)
Anne.Degrand-Guillaud @ec.europa.eu (microbicides)

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