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Penn McNair Research Journal

Abstract

Today we are witnessing what may amount to the biggest health and development challenge the world has ever faced. Having caused the deaths of 20 million people globally since its discovery in 1981, HIV/AIDS is unique in its devastating impact on the social, economic and demographic foundations of development. Today, the number of people infected with HIV in the world has already reached an estimated 39.4 million, with over 95% of them living in the developing world. Like clockwork, as every minute passes, 6 people die from AIDS, amounting to a daily loss of 8500 lives. Despite increased funding, political commitment, progress in expanding access to HIV treatment, and major developments in the fight against HIV and AIDS, including anti-retroviral medicines, rates of infection are still on the rise. Time and time again, the AIDS epidemic has outpaced the global response. Thus, if we are to turn the tide, effective intervention strategies are needed now.

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