New Methodology Produces Fresh Data

UN Slashes AIDS Numbers

Talk about a mixed bag! The United Nations says AIDS-infections have dropped the world over, but primarily because of new numbers:

The number of AIDS cases worldwide fell by more than 6 million cases this year to 33.2 million, global health officials said Tuesday. But the decline is mostly on paper.

Previous estimates were largely inflated, and the new numbers are the result of a new methodology. They show AIDS cases in 2007 were down from almost 39.5 million last year, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations AIDS agency.

Many of the fallen numbers come out of India, which cut its HIV/AIDS estimates in half.

While this is certainly great news, the HIV/AIDS distribution still rumbles our tummies:

Sub-Sarahan Africa remains the epicenter of the epidemic. AIDS is still the leading cause of death in there, where it affects men, women and children. Elsewhere in the world, AIDS outbreaks are mostly concentrated in gay men, intravenous drug users, and sex workers.

Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Robert Bazell takes this time to reflect on HIV vaccine’s failures and how we can move ahead into an AIDS-free era.