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UN Reports Progress On Fight Against AIDS

A rally commemorates AIDS victims in St. Petersburg.
The United Nations has noted a decline in new HIV/AIDS infections and fewer deaths worldwide, but said millions of people were still missing out on major progress on prevention and treatment.

UNAIDS, the UN agency spearheading the international campaign against the disease, today said that new infections declined by 19 percent between 2004 and 2009.

In 2009, 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related diseases, down from 2.1 million in 2004.

Sub-Saharan Africa remained the hardest-hit region, but much of Africa was showing positive signs of a decline.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, meanwhile there was a worrying increase in infection rates, with the number of people with HIV reaching 1.4 million.

Russia and Ukraine accounted for nearly 90 percent of new infections in the region.

compiled from agency reports