An estimated 5 million people became infected with HIV worldwide in 2003, and as many as 3 million died from AIDS, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The total number of infected people worldwide is estimated at 40 million. Nowhere has been hit as devastatingly as Sub-Saharan Africa, which bears as much as 67% of the world's infected and roughly 3/4 of the deaths for 2003. In this area, prevalence among adults ranges from less than 1-in-100 in Mauritania to nearly 2-in-5 in Botswana. Predictions in Africa are made largely on data collected from antenatal clinics. The UNAIDS report attributes seeming declines over its own past estimates to better monitoring and statistical correction of data. The pandemic in Africa continues to grow, as do more recent epidemics in Asia, Southeast Asia, the Baltic States, and elsewhere.
Here, regional numbers indicate deaths in...