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World AIDS Day – Be aware of the figures

What do you know about HIV and AIDS figures? This disease is international and does not need any border control  because we are living in an 'international' society, and HIV has become the first truly 'international' epidemic, easily crossing oceans and borders.


Already, more than 30 million people around the world have died of AIDS-related diseases.

In 2010, 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV.

1.8 million men, women and children died of AIDS-related causes in 2010.

34 million people around the world are now living with HIV.


In Asia

The total number of people living with HIV in Asia is thought to be nearly 4.8 million. Around half (2.4 million) of these were in India followed by China (740,000), Thailand (530,000) and Myanmar (240,000).


In Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 1.9 million people in this region became newly infected in 2010, totaling an estimated 22.9 million.


Out of this, Botswana has 24.8% adults infected with HIV, while in South Africa, 17.8% (around 5.6 million) are infected, South Africa has more people living with HIV than any other country.


An estimated 3.3 million adults and children are living with HIV in Nigeria, accounting for nearly 10% of the global number of people living with HIV.


Another country particularly affected by HIV in West Africa is Cote d’Ivoire, where 450,000 people are living with HIV.


In Uganda the estimated prevalence fell to around 7% in 2001 from a peak of about 15% in the early 1990s, and by 2009 prevalence was 6.5%.


Out of a population of 14 million, almost one million people in Malawi are living with HIV. AIDS is the leading cause of death amongst adults in Malawi, and is a major factor in the country’s low life expectancy of just 43 years


In North Africa and the Middle East, 59,000 people acquired an HIV infection in 2010, bringing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa to an estimated 470,000.  A further 35,000 people died from AIDS in this region in 2010.


The situation in Zimbabwe is now so bad that:

• Between 2002 and 2006, the population is estimated to have decreased by four million people.

• Infant mortality has doubled since 1990.

• Average life expectancy for women, who are particularly affected by Zimbabwe's AIDS epidemic, is 47.

• Zimbabwe has a higher number of orphans, in proportion to its population, than any other country in the world, according to UNICEF. In fact, as many as 1 in 4 children in Zimbabwe are orphaned as a result of parents dying from AIDS.


In 2006 a Zimbabwean doctor explained to reporters:

“Put simply, people are dying of AIDS before they can starve to death."


The first reported case of AIDS in Zimbabwe occurred in 1985. By the end of the 1980s, around 10% of the adult population was thought to be infected with HIV. This figure rose dramatically in the first half of the 1990s, peaking at 26.5% in 1997. But since this point the HIV prevalence is thought to have declined, making Zimbabwe one of the first African nations to witness such a trend. According to government figures, the adult prevalence was 23.7% in 2001, and fell to 14.3% in 2010.


A rise in the number of people dying from AIDS is thought to have played a role in the decline, as well as an increase in the number of people (HIV positive or otherwise) who have migrated to other countries.


In Congo, 77,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS at the end of 2009. Women with HIV and AIDS are 40,000, orphans due to HIV and AIDS are 51,000.



The Bahamas is the worst affected nation in the region, with a prevalence of 3%. Haiti, where the spread of HIV may well have been fuelled by decades of poor governance and conflict, has also been hard hit by the AIDS epidemic. An estimated 1.9% of Haitian adults were living with HIV at the end of 2009.


Cuba's comprehensive testing and prevention programmes have helped to keep its HIV infection rate below 0.1%, and the country provides free HIV treatment to all those in need. In 2002, the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) signed a deal with six pharmaceutical companies which lowered prices for ARVs and led to wider access to treatment. In 2009, 48% of those in need of treatment in the Caribbean were receiving it.


Latin America

Around 1.5 million people were living with HIV in Latin America at the end of 2010. During that year, around 67,000 people died of AIDS and an estimated 100,000 were newly infected.


Central American nation of Belize has a well-established epidemic of 2%, while Brazil had an adult HIV prevalence between 0.3 and 0.6% at the end of 2009.


HIV in Argentina was initially seen as a disease of male injecting drug users and men who have sex with men. Now the virus is spread mostly through heterosexual intercourse, and is affecting a rising number of women. The other Andean countries are currently among those least affected by HIV, although risky behavior has been recorded in many groups.


Eastern Europe and Central Asia

In 2010, some 1.5 million people were living with HIV, compared to 410,000 in 2001. AIDS claimed an estimated 90,000 lives during 2010, over ten times 2001's figure.


The Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) are the worst affected, although HIV continues to spread in Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan, and more recent epidemics are emerging in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. An estimated 980,000 HIV-infected people were living in the Russian Federation at the end of 2009.


United States, United Kingdom, Western and Central Europe

In the United States, a quarter of people diagnosed with AIDS in 2008 were female, and three quarters of these women were infected as a result of heterosexual sex. In several countries in Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, heterosexual contact is the most frequent cause of newly diagnosed infections. In 2010, the number of people living with HIV in North America, Western and Central Europe reached an estimated 2.2 million.


The Above shows that HIV and AIDS is global. In 2011, world leaders gathered to restate their commitment to ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic worldwide. In the Political Declaration, they stated...

“HIV and AIDS constitute a global emergency, pose one of the most formidable challenges to the development, progress and stability of our respective societies and the world at large and require an exceptional and comprehensive global response”

The Healthy Wellbeing



1. 'United Nations (2011) 'Personal Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to Eliminate HIV/AIDS'

Accessed: 02/12/2011

2. UNAIDS (2011, November) 'World AIDS Day Report 2011'

Accessed: 28/11/2011

3. UNAIDS (2010) 'UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic'

Accessed: 26/11/2011

4. WHO/UNAIDS (2010) 'Towards universal access: Scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector'

Accessed: 26/11/2011

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) 'Diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2008', Volume 20

Accessed: 28/11/11

6. UNAIDS (2009, October) 'Report on the Impact of the Global Financial and Economic Crisis on the AIDS Response'

Accessed: 02/12/2011

7. Avert, ‘HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe’

Accessed: 28/11/2011

8. Avert, ‘Sub-Saharan Africa HIV & AIDS Statistics,’

Accessed: 24/11/2011


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