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Learning English - Words in the News
28 November, 2007 - Published 17:24 GMT
Aids experts call for more tests
A man using a syringe

Health experts in Brussels have been told that despite a fall in the global figure for the number of people affected by HIV and AIDS, the situation in Europe and central Asia is getting worse. They've called for efforts to expand testing for HIV. Dominic Hughes reports.

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Around 2.4 million people in Europe and Central Asia are living with HIV, roughly 760, 000 of them within the European Union. What's concerning health professionals is that new infections are on the increase, and the number of children and adults living with the disease has doubled in the past six years.

Even more worrying, at least half these people don't know they're infected. In some countries as many as 70 percent don't realise they are HIV positive. And these people are much more likely to transmit the disease than those who have been diagnosed.

So a Brussels conference of more than 300 health workers from across Europe and Central Asia has called for much wider testing for HIV, trying to reach those who don't know they're infected. The experts warn that late diagnosis of HIV is causing unnecessary deaths from an illness that can now be treated and held at bay if caught early enough.

Dominic Hughes, BBC News Brussels

Listen to the words

short for human immunodeficiency virus: the virus that causes AIDS (a serious disease that destroys the body's ability to fight infection)

approximately, not exactly

worrying or causing concern

infections are on the increase
more and more people are getting the disease

has doubled
has increased by 100%

to transmit
to pass a disease from one person to another

detected or discovered that a person has a particular disease

an event (here, a medical one) where there are talks, discussions and lectures on a particular subject

held at bay
won't get any worse (here, that people won't die of HIV)

detected, found or diagnosed

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