Half of all new AIDS infections are incurred by women, the World Health Organization said today. According to WHO, 8 million women worldwide are infected by the virus and, every thirty seconds, another joins their ranks. WHO blames the inferior economic and social status of women in many non-industrialized countries as a chief culprit. "What these numbers show is that HIV spreads differently in non-industrialized countries than in industrial countries -- where most of the new infections are among gay men, intravenous drug users and their sexual partners," says TIME science writer Christine Gorman. "What you find in places like Thailand, Zaire and Uganda is that a great deal of transmission is from men to women. A lot has to do with the woman's ability to say no."