Published: Monday 31 December 2001

In the next 60 minutes, around 600 persons will add to the growing number of people infected by the deadly HIV virus. Worse, more than 60 children will die due to the infection. This has been stated by a World Health Organisation (WHO) report released recently.

The report revealed that an estimated 3.86 million people were struck by AIDS till the end of 2000. While India accounts for below one per cent of the global AIDS cases, it has more cases than any other country except for South Africa.

The report said that the anti-AIDS campaign in Asia and the pacific must focus on men, who account for at least 80 per cent of all infections in the region, to help contain the epidemic.

The UN agency has coined the slogan ' I care ... do you? Men make a difference ' for the worldwide campaign which stresses on the need for men to care for themselves as well as their partners and children.

In the report, the WHO highlighted the fact that the behaviour of the young men could expose them to contracting HIV as they are more likely to drink alcohol, use drugs or indulge in unsafe sex. HIV is more easily transmitted sexually from men than women, the WHO report pointed out.

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