HIV-AIDS Around The World

Countries with HIV/AIDS

  • Countries with a very high HIV prevalence rate will often see this rate eventually stabilize, and even decline.
  • In some cases this indicates that people are beginning to change risky behavior patterns
  • Fear is the worst and last way of changing people's behavior and by the time this happens it is usually too late to save a huge number of that country's population.
  • More than 25 million people around the world have died of AIDS-related diseases.
  • In 2008, 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 2 million men, women and children lost their lives.
  • 33.4 million people around the world are now living with HIV.


  • In some of the poorest countries in the world, the impact of the virus has been most severe.
  • At the end of 2007, there were 9 countries in Africa where more than 1/10th of the adult population aged 15-49 was infected with HIV.
  • In the three countries at the southern cone of the continent, at least 1 in 5 adults is living with the virus.
  • Women are even more at risk, because the chances of encountering an infected partner is much higher.


  • In 2007, there were 2.4 million people living with HIV in India.
  • Other large epidemics are present in China (700,000), Thailand (610,000) and Myanmar (240,000).
  • The total number of people living with HIV in Asia is thought to be around 4.7 million.
  • The epidemic is centered among particular high-risk groups: men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, sex workers and their partners.
  • However the epidemic has already begun to spread beyond these groups into the wider population.


  • Response to HIV has long been hampered by a reticence to discuss sexual matters in public.
  • The Ministry of Health's announced recently that "sexual transmission is now the main cause of new HIV cases."
  • Almost 1/3 of new infections were among male homosexuals. The government's traditional attitude was that HIV mainly affects drug users and people who sell blood at illegal "blood-collecting stations.“
  • Police crackdowns on drug users and prostitutes.
  • But the public remains resistant to overt promotion of the use of condoms. Discrimination against gays and ignorance about STDs remain ingrained.

Eastern Europe & Central Asia

  • The epidemic in Eastern Europe is primarily driven by injecting drug use, and the criminalization of this practice makes it difficult to gain an accurate picture of the proportion of drug users who are living with HIV.
  • In 2008, some 1.5 million people were living with HIV/AIDS, an estimated 87,000 deaths during 2008.
  • Rates of injecting drug use and needle sharing are high. Heroin smuggled into the West crosses through a number of Eastern European countries, and its path is marked by a high concentration of injecting drug users, and a high HIV prevalence.

Latin America

  • Around 2 million people were living with HIV in Latin America at the end of 2008, and an estimated 170,000 were newly infected.
  • Fuelled by varying combinations of unsafe sex (both between men, and between men and women) and injecting drug use.
  • In nearly all countries, the highest rates of HIV infection are found among men who have sex with men, and the second highest rates are found among female sex workers.

High Income Countries

  • In high-income nations, infections have been concentrated among injecting drug users and gay men. These groups are still at high risk, but heterosexual intercourse accounts for a growing number of cases.
  • In the U.S., more than a 1/4 of people diagnosed with HIV in 2006 were female, and more than 3/4 of these women were probably infected as a result of heterosexual sex.
  • Once information and services for prevention had been made available to most of the population, the level of unprotected sex fell in many countries and the demand rose for reproductive health services, HIV counseling and testing and other preventive services.
  • Prevention work in high-income countries has declined, and sexual-health education in schools is still not universally guaranteed.
  • Political factors have been allowed to control the HIV prevention work that is done, and politicians are commonly keen to avoid any sexual issues.
  • Many high-income countries suffer from the belief that HIV is something that affects other people, not their own populations.
  • Some high-income countries fund medication provision for low-income countries whilst failing to provide medicines for their own citizens who have AIDS. For example, many people cannot afford HIV treatment in America.

Serodiscordant Couples

  • One partner has the virus and the other does not.
  • How do they have sex? They use condoms as their primary prevention strategy. And, evidence shows lowering the viral load through HIV treatments and drugs could decrease risk.
  • It's also possible for serodiscordant couples to conceive a child without infecting either the partner or the child with the virus. Columbia University Medical Center, has used a sperm-washing technique that separates the sperm from the semen, which carries the virus. Then the sperm is injected into the egg.
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