Released ahead of the thirteenth International AIDS Conference, which begins on July 9 in Durban, South Africa, UNAIDS's second comprehensive report is sobering reading indeed. For the first time, the impact of AIDS on young people has been calculated, and the report concludes that up to half of all fifteen-year-olds in the most severely affected African countries (primarily sub-Saharan) will eventually die from HIV/AIDS regardless of whether rates drop substantially in the near future. Worldwide, the report finds that some 34 million people are infected and that "Barring a miracle, most of these will die over the next decade or so." Speaking on NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday, Paul Delay, Chief of the AIDS office at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) stated that life expectancy in the affected countries has been reduced by 20 to 30 years on average, setting development back 50 years or more. The massive infection rate, averaging 10 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, with 20 percent of inhabitants in South Africa and nearly 36 percent in Botswana living with the disease, has begun to devastate the economy and social services. There are, however, a few success stories. For instance, the infection rate has been almost halved in Uganda thanks to a strong prevention program, and progress has been made at a local level in India, Thailand, and Brazil. The full text of the 135-page report is available in .pdf format in its entirety or by chapter in English, Spanish, and French. Country-specific estimates and data are offered in Excel format, and a number of PowerPoint slides are also available.
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