Still Dying of Ignorance

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NEW YORK: Less than a week after U.N. statistics revealed that 1 in 100 of all adults in the world are infected with the HIV virus - and that 90 percent of them don't know about it - Monday saw the tenth observance of World AIDS Day. Nine years since the World Health Organization first declared the event, and there is good reason to be gloomy: "Even in places where we have the education and have the resources, the message isn't always getting through," says TIME Medical Correspondent Christine Gorman. "You see 16-year-olds getting infected - even 15-year-olds, who were born after the epidemic began."

Indeed, the resurgence of HIV infection figures for American teenagers is one of the more alarming of the new statistics. Although the virus continues to cut a great swath through Africa, the problem is still a global one. "No country or society is safe from this new challenge to basic human security," insisted U.N. General Assembly President Hennadiy Udovenko. Especially not when half of those infected around the world are under the age of 25. As long as a cure continues to be beyond our grasp, World AIDS Day serves as a warning to the young - no-one's safe.