Information on Global Dimensions and Possible Impacts

NSIAD-88-51FS: Published: Oct 28, 1987. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the: (1) impact of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) on world population and demographics; and (2) likely effects of AIDS on Zaire.

GAO found that: (1) estimates of the number of infected individuals in each country are unreliable because of a lack of adequate information about the natural history of AIDS; (2) the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that between 5 and 10 million people are infected with the disease and, by 1991, between 50 to 100 million people may be infected; (3) WHO established its Special Program on AIDS to provide technical assistance, financial support, leadership, and coordination for AIDS prevention and control programs; (4) as of October 1987, 149 countries had established AIDS national committees; (5) although voluntary contributions from member countries in the WHO program have totalled $35 million, WHO officials estimated that they will need $650 million more by 1991; (6) in fiscal year 1987, the Agency for International Development (AID) contributed $15 million toward AIDS prevention and control; and (7) AID estimated that it will need $69 million over the next 5 years to provide technical assistance for surveillance, blood screening, and other activities. GAO also found that: (1) infection rates are high in Zaire, particularly among those in urban areas and cities along major transportation routes; and (2) AIDS is likely to have a significant economic and social impact on Zaire because large numbers of productive, skilled, and well-educated people may be infected.

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