By Susan Hunter
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Extra resources for AIDS in Asia: A Continent in Peril
At the other end of the timeline looms the impending disaster of AIDS, which will have killed or infected at least 130 million people by 2010. Everything in between is dwarfed by these gigantic disease disasters, including World War I, which killed 10 million people, the 1918–1919 inﬂuenza epidemic, which killed 20 million, and World War II, which killed 50 million people. Other events we commonly think of as catastrophic look relatively small next to these giants. S. Civil War, only 600,000. The huge death tolls in Russia under Stalin (20 million) and China under Mao (40 million) are dwarfed by AIDS.
Charles Bennett, who led the study, says that as recently as 1996, 95 percent of India’s blood supply was unsafe. Paid donors supply a major portion of the blood pool, which leads high-risk individuals to donate frequently, even when they are ill.
In addition to HIV, seven major sexually transmitted diseases (also called venereal diseases, or VD, and sexually transmitted infections, or STIs) have been identiﬁed since 1837. Three are caused by bacteria (gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia) and most of the others by viruses. Three are ulcerous (chancroid, genital herpes, and syphilis) and four nonulcerous (chlamydia, papillomavirus, 34 AIDS in Asia trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea). In addition to the seven major types, there are many other milder types of STDs resulting from bacterial or yeast infection, such as vaginitis and urethritis, and several skin conditions transmitted by lice, such as scabies.