Some have observed that there is growing global indifference when it comes to the fight against HIV/AIDS even though the epidemic continues to rage on. As part of World AIDS Day 2009, I just wanted to highlight some figures from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV (UNAIDS) to reflect on how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has impacted on our world:
- Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes.
- In 2008, some 33.4 million [31.1 million-35.8 million] people living with HIV,
- 2.7 million[2.4 million-3.0 million] new infections and
- 2 million [1.7 million-2.4 million] AIDS-related deaths.
- In 2008, around 430 000 [240 000-610 000] children were born with HIV, bringing to 2.1 million [1.2 million-2.9 million] the total number of children under 15 living with HIV.
- Young people account for around 40% of all new adult (15+) HIV infections worldwide.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected and is home to 67% of all people living with HIV worldwide and 91% of all new infections among children.
- In sub-Saharan Africa the epidemic has orphaned more than 14 million children
Also in the news about HIV/AIDS in Africa:
- South African army fights HIV stigma by allowing HIV positive South African soldiers to be to be deployed overseas if they pass a battery of fitness tests.
- Women and girls remain the worst affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for 60 percent of the overall HIV infections.