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AIDS Cases Underestimated By 40 Percent

AIDS Cases Underestimated by 40%, World Conference Begins


The number of new cases of AIDS diagnosed in the US each year is 40 percent higher than the government previously estimated, acknowledging that they've understated the level of the epidemic.

The US actually had about 56,300 new HIV infections in 2006, up from the 40,000 annual estimate publicized for the last dozen years. The new number is because of a better blood test and new statistical methods, not a worsening of the epidemic.

The executive director of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors says, "This is the biggest news for public health and HIV/AIDS that we've had in a while." The new estimate and how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived at the number were presented yesterday at the opening day of the international AIDS conference in Mexico City. To see how Bill Clinton and the adorable baby fit in, and an amazing breakthrough in a cure for HIV, read more.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton found a new friend while visiting a rural health care clinic this weekend in Rwanda at one of the Clinton Foundation projects. Bill is heading to Mexico City to deliver a keynote address today at the World AIDS Conference.

A 12-year-old activist with HIV (she's had it all her life) opened the conference last night with Ban Ki-moon and the president of Mexico. The young activist, Keren Dunaway, edits a children's magazine about the virus. In Latin America, 55,000 of the nearly 2 million people with the virus are under 15 years old, most infected by their mothers. Her story is pretty amazing and worth a read.

There's good news being released at the conference — researchers in several countries are working on a pill that can prevent HIV, and two Houston doctors may have found a way to destroy HIV, that could be used to "control the disease for those who already have it." It's still five years away, and awaiting human trials, but the research is heading in the right, and exciting, direction.

Thanks to hypnoticmix for sending this on!

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