AIDS in Africa by the Numbers*
- An estimated 33.4 million people were living with AIDS worldwide in 2008. Two thirds of them -- 22.5 million -- live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Globally, 2 million people died of AIDS in 2008, up from 1.7 million in 2001. HIV is a leading cause of death worldwide and the number-1 cause of death in Afica.
- About 2.1 million children under the age of 15 were living with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, about 430,000 children developed new HIV infections in 2008.
- More than 14 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. The large majority live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Women in sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS, accounting for 60% of infected individuals.
- Fewer than a third of pregnant women with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa received anti-retroviral drugs to help prevent transmission of the virus to their newborns. Most children with HIV become infected at birth or during breastfeeding.
- Only a small proportion of sub-Saharan Africans are aware of their HIV status. For example, while HIV testing more than doubled between 2003 and 2007 in Kenya, an estimated 83 percent of those living with HIV remain undiagnosed, according to the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
- Access to anti-retroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa has increased in recent years. An estimated 3 million people now receive this treatment. However, that is still far short of the need. It is estimated an additional 5 million people are in need of this life-giving medication.
* From: UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, 2008
Copyright © 2010 Karen Ande and Ruthann Richter