HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome," has become one of the world's most serious health and development challenges. The first cases were reported in 1981 and today, 30 years later:
- There are approximately 34 million people currently living with HIV and nearly 30 million people have died of AIDS-related causes since the beginning of the epidemic.
- While cases have been reported in all regions of the world, almost all those living with HIV (97%) reside in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Most people living with HIV or at risk for HIV do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment, and there is still no cure.
- HIV primarily affects those in their most productive years; about half of new infections are among those under age 25.
- HIV not only affects the health of individuals, it impacts households, communities, and the development and economic growth of nations. Many of the countries hardest hit by HIV also suffer from other infectious diseases, food insecurity, and other serious problems.
- Despite these challenges, new global efforts have been mounted to address the epidemic, particularly in the last decade, and there are signs that the epidemic may be changing course. The number of people newly infected with HIV and the number of AIDS-related deaths have declined, contributing to the stabilization of the epidemic. In addition, the number of people with HIV receiving treatment in resource poor countries has increased more than 20-fold since 2001, reaching 6.6 million in 2010.
For sources, please visit http://www.kff.org/hivaids/upload/3030-17.pdf