Small World, Big Impact
BY Advocate Contributors
November 18 2010 5:00 AM ET
• An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide are now living with HIV. In the United States there are approximately 1.1 million people living with the virus.
• It’s estimated that 2.7 million people were newly infected with the virus in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That’s just under 7,400 people who contracted HIV every day. Roughly 56,300 of those new infections occur annually in the United States.
• Since the beginning of the pandemic, almost 60 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of AIDS-related causes. There were roughly 2 million AIDS-related deaths in 2008 alone.
• Globally, a third of people living with HIV are coinfected with TB. Tuberculosis is a leading cause of death among people living with HIV and yet is mostly curable and preventable.
• Globally, men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population. Men who have sex with men accounted for 53% of all HIV cases diagnosed in 2006. A third of these men were younger than 30.
• African-Americans accounted for 46% of new HIV infections diagnosed in 2006, although they represent only 12% of the U.S. population.
• The number of HIV-infected women has increased so rapidly over the past three decades that, worldwide, women now make up half of all people living with HIV. The number of women living with HIV in the United States has tripled in the past two decades.
• Around the world, the percentage of HIV-positive pregnant women who received treatment to prevent transmission of the virus to their child increased from 33% in 2007 to 45% in 2008.
• In 2008 around 430,000 children were born with HIV, bringing to 2.1 million the total number of children under 15 living with the virus.
• Young people account for about 40% of all new adult (older than 15) HIV infections worldwide.
• Less than 40% of young people have basic information about HIV, and less than 40% of people worldwide living with HIV know their serostatus.
• The number of new HIV infections continues to outstrip the number of people on treatment—for every two people starting treatment, a further five become infected with the virus.
• The region most affected is sub-Saharan Africa, 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.
• Despite considerable progress, global efforts to treat HIVers remain insufficient. Only 42% of people in need of antiretroviral medications in 2008 had access—but that’s compared to 35% in 2007.
• More than 4 million people in low- and middle-income countries had access to HIV treatment at the end of 2008, up from only 3 million who had access at the end of 2007—a 36% increase in one year and a 10-fold increase over five years.
• Only 38% of children in need of treatment in low-and middle-income countries in 2008 received it.
• An estimated 700,000 people received treatment in high-income countries in 2008, bringing the global total for those who had access to 4.7 million people.
Sources: UNAIDS, “AIDS Epidemic Update, 2009”; UNAIDS, “Towards Universal Access: Scaling Up Priority HIV/AIDS Interventions in the Health Sector: Progress Report 2009”; WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF, September 2009; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; “amfAR, MSM, HIV, and the Road to Universal Access—How Far Have We Come?” August 2008