The World Health Organization says 7,000 new AIDS cases were reported last month, raising the worldwide total to nearly 140,000.

Most of the increase was due to updated reports on acquired immune deficiency syndrome from the Americas and Europe, WHO said Friday in its monthly update on the spread of the deadly disease.The United States reported more than half of the new cases, nearly 4,000.

WHO estimated the real number of adult cases was between 350,000 and 400,000 by the end of last year, with sub-Saharan Africa thought to account for more than half the victims. The U.N. agency noted that the accuracy of reports on AIDS patients varies widely between countries and continents.

WHO said 139,886 cases were reported from 144 countries by Jan. 31, a rise of 6,910 over a month earlier.