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The AIDS pandemic has gained momentum during the past quarter century, expanding to all regions of the world. AIDS affects both the rich and the poor, but the hardest-hit countries are among the poorest in the world. Unless more vigorous actions are undertaken to combat the disease and its effects, the HIV/AIDS epidemic portends a grim future for many countries, especially the poorest countries. The report concludes that the most effective approach to thwarting the HIV/AIDS epidemic is to implement a combination of strategies that reduce risks, diminish vulnerability and mitigate impact.