With an estimated 5.7 million infections, India has surpassed previous global leader South Africa’s 5.5 million. Per capita, however, the rates are still worst in sub-Saharan Africa. (In Swaziland, a third of adults are infected. In India, only 0.9%.)
India now has the largest number of AIDS infections as the spread of the disease shows no sign of letting up a quarter-century into an epidemic that has claimed 25 million lives, the U.N. reported Tuesday.
“I think we will see a further globalization of the epidemic spreading to every single corner of the planet,” UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot told The Associated Press in an interview.
The data released by UNAIDS shows that India now has the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. With an estimated 5.7 million infections, it has surpassed South Africa’s 5.5 million.
But the epidemic still remains at its worst in sub-Saharan Africa, where per capita rates continue to climb in several countries. A third of adults were infected in Swaziland in 2005. By comparison, India’s per capita rate is low, at 0.9 percent of its 1.02 billion people.