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The number of AIDS cases reported to the World...

GENEVA -- The number of AIDS cases reported to the World Health Organization rose 9.3 percent last month to reach 77,266 by Jan. 31, compared to 70,670 on Dec. 30, the U.N. agency said Friday.

WHO officials cautioned that the increase reflected improved reporting by Third World countries as well as a continued global spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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By the end of January, WHO said in its latest monthly situation report, three new countries had detected the disease for a total 132 countries with one or more cases.

The United States remained far ahead of all other nations with 51,361 cases as of Jan. 31 -- or 66.5 percent of the world total.

Figures are cumulative since AIDS was first reported by the United States in 1979.

WHO officials said about half of all cases had so far resulted in death and the true global total is probably from 50 percent more to double the number of reported cases.

The agency also said the number of reported cases is probably low because while the United States sends weekly reports to the WHO Global Program on AIDS, most other countries report only on a quarterly basis.

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'Thus, it will be well into February or March before reports of the first AIDS cases diagnosed in 1988 will begin to be received,' it said.

Cumulative annual world totals since the first cases were reported have been, at the end of each year: 14 in 1979, 84 in 1980, 378 in 1981, 1,510 in 1982, 4,951 in 1983, 11,938 in 1984, 25,033 in 1985, 47,692 in 1986, 70,670 in 1987, and the 77,266 by Jan. 31 this year.

Countries with the most cases, by region, were:

-Africa: Unganda 2,639, Tanzania 1,608, Kenya 964, Rwanda 705, Burundi 569, Zambia 536, Zimbabwe 380, Zaire 335, Central African Republic 254, Congo 250, Ivory Coast 250, Ghana 145, South Africa 98, Senegal 66.

-Americas: United States 51,361, Brazil 2,325, Canada 1,435, Haiti 912, Mexico 713, Dominican Republic 352, Trinidad and Tobago 206, Bahamas 163, Colombia 153, Argentina 120, Venezuela 101, French Guiana 93, Bermuda 75, Chile 56, Barbados 52, Guadeloupe 51, Honduras 51, Peru 44, Costa Rica 39, Guatemala 30, Jamaica 30, Cuba 27, Martinique 27, Panama 22, Nicaragua 19, El Salvador 16, Paraguay 14, Uruguay 14.

-Europe: France 2,523, West Germany 1,669, United Kingdom 1,227, Italy 1,104, Spain 624, Netherlands 370, Switzerland 299, Belgium 280, Denmark 228, Sweden 156, Austria 120, Portugal 81, Greece 78, Norway 64, Ireland 25, Finland 22, Yugoslavia 21, Luxembourg 8, Czechoslovakia 7, Hungary 6, East Germany 4, Iceland 4, USSR 4, Bulgaria 3, Poland 3, Romania 2.

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-Oceania: Australia 681, New Zealand 62, French Polynesia 1, Tonga 1.

-Asia: Japan 59, Israel 43, Eastern Mediterranean region 36, Turkey 21, Thailand 12, Philippines 10, India 9, Qatar 9, Hong Kong 6.

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