18th annual World Aids Day is observed

December 1, 2005

The 18th annual World Aids Day was observed Thursday around the theme "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise."

One of the most dramatic efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS was announced in the South African nation of Lesotho, which said it will launch the world's first plan to have every person in the country know their HIV status.

The U.N.'s World Health Organization, based in Geneva, said Lesotho has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, with one in three adults HIV-positive.

The project marks the first time a country will offer confidential and voluntary HIV testing and counseling door-to door, with a goal of reaching all households in the nation by the end of 2007.

The WHO estimates 3.1 million people worldwide will die of AIDS this year from about 40 million people infected with HIV. Approximately 4.5 million people are predicted to become infected with HIV this year.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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