HIV Global Statistics.

AIDS kills more people worldwide than any other infectious disease.
HIV and AIDS around the World
People living with HIV / AIDS 42 million
Adults 38.6 million
Women 19.2 million
Children under 15 3.2 million
New HIV cases in 2002 5 million
Adults 4.2 million
Women 2 million
Children under 15 800,000
AIDS deaths in 2002 3.1 million
Adults 2.5 million
Women 1.2 million
Children under 15 610,000
Total HIV cases to date 70 million
Total AIDS deaths to date 28.1 million
  • The overwhelming majority of people with HIV – some 95 percent of the global total – live in the developing world. That proportion is set to grow even further as infection rates continue to rise in countries where poverty, conflict, poor health systems and limited resources for prevention and care fuel the spread of the virus.
  • More than 70 percent of all HIV infections worldwide occur through heterosexual sex. Where this is the main form of transmission, women are becoming infected in far greater numbers than men. Women over the age of 15 constitute almost 45 percent of all newly reported AIDS cases worldwide, making them the fastest growing group diagnosed.
  • Half of new infections are occurring in young people (15-24 year olds), who constitute one-third of those living with HIV and AIDS worldwide. Young girls are particularly at risk. 2.3 million children were orphaned by AIDS in 2001 alone.
  • AIDS is set to reverse 50 years of development gains in the most affected countries. The economic impact of the disease can be seen in its effect on life expectancy and productivity of the workforce, tax revenues and overall loss of GDP.
  • HIV is still a challenge in industrialised countries. Complacency over the availability of life-prolonging treatment threatens to erode safe sexual behaviour among gay men. However there remains no cure for HIV and AIDS.
  • In high-income countries, there is evidence that HIV is moving into poorer and more deprived communities, with women at particular risk of infection due to their low social and economic status.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    29.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS

    Main mode of transmission – heterosexual sex.

    • Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the worst-affected region, with approximately 3.5 million new infections occurring there in 2002, while the epidemic claimed the lives of an estimated 2.4 million Africans in the past year.
    • 58 percent of HIV-positive adults are women
    • In 2001, an estimated 6-11 percent of young women aged 15-24 were living with HIV and AIDS, compared to 3-6 percent of young men.
    • The World Bank estimates that the treatment of all AIDS cases in Africa would cost $10 billion a year for drugs alone
    • The increases made in life expectancy in African countries have been reversed by AIDS, falling from 60-70 years to below 48 years

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    Asia & Pacific
    7.2 million people are now living with the virus

    Main modes of transmission – heterosexual sex, men who have sex with men and injecting drug use.

    • Both China and India, two of the world’s most populous nations, are experiencing serious, localized epidemics.
    • India’s national adult HIV prevalence rate of less than 1 percent offers little indication of the serious situation facing the country. An estimated 3.97 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2001 – the second highest figure in the world, after South Africa.
    • In China the epidemic shows no signs of abating. Official estimates put the number of people living with HIV in China at 1 million in mid 2002. Unless effective responses rapidly take hold, a total of 10 million Chinese will have acquired HIV by the end of this decade – a number equivalent to the entire population of Belgium.
    • In Cambodia and Thailand, national large-scale prevention programmes and political leadership have lowered HIV prevalence by up to a third.

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    Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS

    Main mode of transmission – Injecting Drug Use (IDUs).

    • Eastern Europe and Central Asia have the world’s fastest-growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.
    • Up to 90 percent of the registered infections have been attributed officially to injecting drug use.
    • Young people are particularly hard-hit by the epidemic. It is estimated that up to 1 percent of the population of these countries is injecting drugs, placing these people and their sexual partners at high risk of infection.

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    Latin America & the Caribbean
    1.9 million people living with HIV/AIDS

    Main modes of transmission – heterosexual sex, men who have sex with men and injecting drug use.

    • The Caribbean is the second-most affected region in the world, after Sub-Saharan Africa
    • The epidemics in Central and South America are diverse
    • Brazil has successfully patented antiretroviral drugs, but in Central America and the Caribbean access to antiretroviral therapy is very limited. In Guatemala less than 1 percent of people with HIV have access to drug treatments.

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    North America & Western Europe
    1.5 million

    Main modes of transmission – heterosexual sex, men who have sex with men and injecting drug use.

    • 75,000 people acquired HIV in high-income countries in 2002, challenging complacency around HIV and AIDS
    • Anti-retroviral drug treatments continue to reduce AIDS deaths. As a result the proportion of people living with HIV has grown.
    • Anti-retroviral drugs have increased the life expectancy of people with HIV by at least 10-15 years. However, stigma remains high, greatly affecting the quality of life for this population

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    Australia & New Zealand
    15,000

    Main mode of transmission – men who have sex with men.

    • Australia has one of the lowest rates of HIV in the world
    • Australia is recognised as one of the few countries where the Government has established successive National Strategies on HIV prevention employing effective harm reduction strategies, legal reform and community participation
    • Gay men, injecting drug users, sex workers and aboriginal communities are the groups most at risk of HIV

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    North Africa & the Middle East
    550,000

    Main modes of transmission – heterosexual sex and injecting drug use.

    • Infection rates remain low although data is often unreliable
    • Iran and Pakistan have reported rising HIV infection rates – Iran has responded positively with a range of prevention programmes
    • Significant outbreaks of HIV infections among injecting drug users have occurred in about half the countries in the region, notably in North Africa and in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    • Countries experiencing internal and external conflicts and complex emergencies (Djibouti, Somalia, the Sudan) are particularly vulnerable to HIV epidemics

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    All statistics are from UNAIDS, 2002 unless otherwise indicated
    For more information visit www.unaids.orgttp://unaids.org

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    Juliet P. Brand

    Juliet P. Brand


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