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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
World 'losing fight against Aids'
Dr Anthony Fauci
Dr Fauci says there must be greater effort to boost prevention
The world is losing the battle against HIV/Aids, US President George W Bush's top adviser on the virus has said.

Dr Anthony Fauci told a conference in Sydney that progress had been made but more people were being infected with HIV than were being treated.

"For every one person that you put in therapy, six new people get infected. So we're losing that game, the numbers game," he said.

Dr Fauci was speaking at a gathering of the world's leading HIV/Aids experts.

Last year, 2.2 million people in the developing world had access to the anti-retroviral drugs that help treat the virus, compared with less than 300,000 people three years ago.

The HIV epidemic is essentially uncontrolled, uncontrolled in Africa, uncontrolled completely in Asia right now
Dr Brian Gazzard
British HIV Association

But new infections were continuing to outpace the global effort to treat and educate patients, the conference heard.

Delegates were encouraged by findings that male circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV infection in young men by 60%.

The study, based on trials in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, forecast that male circumcision would prevent 5.7 million new cases of HIV infection over 20 years in sub-Saharan Africa.

HIV/AIDS THREAT
The number of people with HIV is expected to rise from around 40 million today to 60 million by 2015
Aids has already killed 25 million people
Only 28% of the world's HIV/Aids patients are on anti-retroviral drugs
Just one in 10 pregnant women with Aids get treatment to stop them transmitting the disease to their unborn children

"We've had one important breakthrough this year, with understanding the role of circumcision in prevention," said Dr Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"We need to do more of that and importantly, we need to make available to the people throughout the world the prevention methods that are proven technologies."

But in many parts of the developing world, effective prevention strategies like condoms and sterile syringes are available to less than 15% of the population.

Epidemic

Dr Fauci's warning at the Fourth International Aids Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment was echoed by other experts.

Dr Brian Gazzard, of the British HIV Association, said that despite greater access to anti-retroviral drugs, the disease was running out of control in parts of Asia and Africa.

"The HIV epidemic is essentially uncontrolled, uncontrolled in Africa, uncontrolled completely in Asia right now," he said.

The Australian conference's 5,000 delegates are drawn from more than 130 countries.

ADULT AND CHILD HIV RATES IN 2006

  Living with HIV Newly infected Deaths from Aids
Sub-Saharan Africa 24.7m 2.8m 2.1m
South and South-East Asia 7.8m 860,000 590,000
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 1.7m 270,000 84,000
Latin America 1.7m 140,000 65,000
North America 1.4m 43,000 18,000
East Asia 750,000 100,000 43,000
Western and Central Europe 740,000 22,000 12,000
North Africa and Middle East 460,000 68,000 36,000
Caribbean 250,000 27,000 19,000
Oceania 81,000 7,100 4,000
Total 39.5m 4.3m 2.9m



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