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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Worst Yet to Come in Battle Against AIDS

June 23, 1997
Xinhua News Service (06/22/97)

Dr. Peter Piot, director of UNAIDS, reports that there has been a dramatic increase in AIDS cases in South and Southeast Asia. At the International AIDS Impact Conference, Piot noted that there were 5 million people with AIDS in the region in 1996, versus 3 million in the previous year. Each day, he added, some 8,500 people worldwide become infected with HIV. Half of the new infections are in women. Piot, who estimated that there are about 23 million HIV-infected people worldwide, also said that the disease is now "largely a heterosexually driven epidemic." An HIV vaccine is "dearly needed," though a great deal of work must be done before that goal is attained, Piot concluded.