Epidemiology, public health, and socioeconomics of HIV infection

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HIV infection and AIDS continues to undergo dramatic demographic changes over the past two years. Women, especially those from minority groups, represent the fastest growing group with AIDS. Moreover, in 1992, 39% of women diagnosed with clinical AIDS were infected through heterosexual intercourse. The new AIDS surveillance definition, effective from January 1 1993, includes both a staging and a disease classification system. Three clinical conditions were added to the list of AIDS-defining conditions: pulmonary tuberculosis, recurrent pneumonia and invasive cervical carcinoma. Moreover, AIDS is now defined as a CD+ lymphocyte count below 200×106/l. Internationally, the AIDS epidemic continues to ravage sub-Saharan Africa and is spreading rapidly through southern and southeastern Asia. In a recent report from Northern Thailand, seroprevalence was 12% in a group of young men (ages 19 to 23) chosen by lottery for military service. Clearly, more effective plans for prevention and resources to implement those plans are needed.

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