Experts from the World Health Organization and Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS report that the worldwide number of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has remained virtually the same for the past two years.
"This is some rare good news about AIDS," says ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. "International health officials say the number of new cases of HIV peaked in 1996, but there may be an exception for Africa where it could still be prevailing and increasing. Still, these are hopeful signs in the war on AIDS. It's very encouraging."
"I imagine that this progress is due to increasing inroads in education about safe sex," says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross, "plus the fact that there are more antiretroviral medications available, so the total infectiousness of the host is reduced. AIDS medications have saved nearly three million lives thanks to innovative research of pharmaceutical drug industry. Still, an AIDS vaccine would be a miracle."