Within 25 years, Aids will become one of the top three causes of death worldwide, says a World Health Organization study published Monday.
Aids currently accounts for about 2.8 million deaths a year and ranks fourth, behind heart disease, stroke and respiratory infections. The new study says that Aids could kill at least 117 million people from 2006 to 2030, the Associated Press reported.
However, if the rate of new HIV infections can be reduced and access to life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs increased, the number of people who die of Aids within the next 25 years could be cut to 89 million, the study said.
"What happens in the future very much depends on what the international community does now," said study co-author Dr Colin Mathers.
The study also estimated that worldwide cancer deaths will increase from 7.1 million in 2002 to 11.5 million in 2030 and the number of cardiovascular-disease deaths will jump from 16.7 million to 23.3 million, the AP reported.
The report appears in the Public Library of Science's Medicine journal. – (HealthDayNews)