WASHINGTON, D.C.: The rate of infectious diseases rose an alarming 58 percent among Americans in the last 12 years, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports. "This particular study really drives home the seriousness of the AIDS problem," says TIME's Alice Park. "What is impressive about these results is the magnitude of the increase. I expect this rate will continue until there is a breakthrough in antibiotics or with other AIDS treatments." The journal, along with 35 other international medical publications, released studies to show the scope of the threat of infectious disease around the globe. Among the other findings: a scientist at Johns Hopkins University says that the global warming trend may result in an increase of new infectious diseases because disease-carrying bugs may be attracted to warmer winter climates in the U.S.