Here are some facts relating to HIV/AIDS:
Global Statistics – 2015
- 17 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy
- 36.7 million [34.0 million–39.8 million] people globally were living with HIV
- 2.1 million [1.8 million–2.4 million] people became newly infected with HIV
- 1.1 million [940 000–1.3 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses
- 78 million [69.5 million–87.6 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic
- 35 million [29.6 million–40.8 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic
- In 2015, there were 36.7 million [34.0 million–39.8 million] people living with HIV.
HIV/AIDS in South Africa
South Africa has the biggest and most high profile HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 7 million people living with HIV in 2015. In the same year, there were 380,000 new infections while 180,000 South Africans died from AIDS-related illnesses.
South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme globally and these efforts have been largely financed from its own domestic resources. The country now invests more than $1.5 billion annually to run its HIV and AIDS programmes.
However, HIV prevalence remains high (19.2%) among the general population, although it varies markedly between regions. For example, HIV prevalence is almost 40% in Kwazulu Natal compared with 18% in Northern Cape and Western Cape.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
One of the most devastating impacts of the HIV epidemic is the loss of whole generations of people in communities hardest hit by the epidemic. In this regard, it is often children who feel the greatest impact, with the loss of parents or older relatives.
Worldwide, it is estimated that 17.8 million children under 18 have been orphaned by AIDS. Around 15.1 million, or 85% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries which are badly affected by the epidemic, a large percentage of all orphaned children – for example 63% in South Africa – are orphaned due to AIDS.