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Worldwide HIV rates on decline

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The number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are declining, according to international data.

Infections declined from three million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2007, while the number of deaths declined from 2.2 million in 2005 to two million in 2007, according to a report from UNAIDS, published last week.

The report cited changes in sexual behaviour in developing countries as a key factor.

But UNAIDS executive director Dr Peter Piot said: ‘Short-term gains should serve as a platform for reinvigorating combination HIV prevention and treatment efforts and not spur complacency.’

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