The number of deaths arising from HIV and AIDS is expected to peak in the next five years, the World Health Organization said Monday, as it sharply cut an earlier mortality forecast.
Deaths (from HIV and AIDS) will continue to increase somewhat for a few years by 2030 they would have declined from current levels today, said Colin Mathers, WHO coordinator for epidemiology and the burden of disease.
The latest forecast expects deaths to rise from 2.2 million in 2008 to a maximum of 2.4 million in 2012, before declining to 1.2 million in 2030.
In an earlier projection, WHO said deaths from HIV and AIDS would rise from 2.8 million in 2002 to 6.5 million in 2030, assuming that anti-retroviral drugs reached 80 percent of the population by 2012.
But following sharp estimate reductions by the United Nations last year on the number of people with AIDS, WHO said it was also slashing its mortality forecast.
The organisation made its latest forecast in its new Global Burden of Disease publication, which compiles statistics on the causes of mortality.
The latest publication examined 2004 statistics and found that cardiovascular disease, infectious and parasitic diseases and cancer are the three leading causes of deaths worldwide.