Learn about the pandemic that has killed over 33 million people since 1981, as well as efforts to curb its spread.
We cannot confuse progress with victory - this epidemic is far from over."
-- Helene Gayle, M.D., M.P.H. Director of the Center for Disease Control's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention
Living in North America, we often hear about HIV/AIDS and prevention. Many believe that because of medical advancements and education efforts AIDS is no longer an issue. However, that is simply not the case. HIV/AIDS rates worldwide remain astounding and despite our best efforts to achieve the goal of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS the rate of infection is increasing..
Policy makers around the world are taking notice of the global importance of Africa and the rapid change taking place on the continent. However, Africa remains plagued by regional conflicts, genocide, poverty, famine, and an HIV/AIDS crisis of Biblical proportions.
According to UNAIDS:
• An estimated 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, while 25 million people have died of AIDS, almost two-thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa;
• 96% of those living with HIV are in the developing world;
• Every day, 6,500 people die as a result of AIDS;
• Women are increasingly at risk of HIV infection and now make up 48% of HIV cases around the world and more than 58% in Sub-Saharan Africa;
• Young people ages 15 - 24 represent over 40% of all new HIV infection cases and 62% of infected young people are female;
• 2.3 million children under age 15 are currently living with HIV, 87% of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa;
• Fewer than one in five people worldwide who are at risk of being infected by HIV have access to prevention programs, and only 20% of those in low and middle-income who need anti-retroviral drugs (ARV’s) have access to treatment.
For more information, visit the RAC's issue page on Global HIV/AIDS.