the first time there are signs that HIV incidence may have stabilized
in sub-Saharan Africa. First, effective prevention has helped reduce infection
rates and second, with over one in four adults already infected in some
countries, fewer people are still likely to become infected. New infections
in 2000 totalled an estimated 3.8 million, compared with 4 million in
1999. However, this may change if rates go up in countries where they
are still relatively low.
- The total
number of Africans living with HIV or AIDS is now 25.3 million. In 8
African countries, at least 15% of adults are infected. In these countries,
AIDS will claim the lives of around a third of today's 15-year-olds
- During 2000, millions
of Africans infected in earlier years began falling ill, and 2.4 million
people died of HIV-related causes, compared with 2.3 million
- Africa is home
to nearly 70% of adults and 80% of children living with HIV in the world,
and has buried three-quarters of the more than 20 million worldwide
who have died of AIDS since the epidemic began.
- Infection rates
in young African women are far higher than in young men, with
rates in teenage girls in some countries five times higher than in teenage
boys. Among young people in their early 20s, the rates were three times
higher in women. In Africa, women's peak infection rates occur at earlier
ages than men's. This helps explain why there are an estimated 12 women
living with HIV for every 10 men in this region.
- A recent study
estimates that in 1997, public health spending
for AIDS alone already exceeded 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in
7 of 16 African countries sampled - a staggering figure in nations where
total health spending accounts for 3-5% of GDP.
- Studies on economic
impact have estimated that in South Africa, GDP is expected to
be 17% for 2010 lower than it would have been without AIDS. It will
also wipe out US$ 22 billion from the economy. In Botswana, AIDS
will slice 20% off the government budget and reduce income for the poorest
- In Botswana,
a shocking 35.8% of adults are now infected with HIV, while in South
Africa, 19.9% are infected, up from 12.9% just two years ago. The
adult HIV prevalence rate in Botswana has more than tripled since 1992,
when it was an estimated 10%.
- In Botswana,
life expectancy at birth is now estimated to be 44 years instead of
69 without AIDS. In Zimbabwe, life expectancy is 43 instead of
- With a total of
4.2 million infected people, South Africa has the largest number
of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, as well as one of the world's
fastest-growing epidemics. Already, 1 in 4 South African women between
ages 20 and 29 are infected with the virus.
- More than 1 in
4 adults living in Zambian cities are HIV-positive, and more
than 1 in 7 Zambian adults are infected in the country's rural areas.
- On the other hand,
the percentage of pregnant girls aged 15-19 infected with HIV in the
capital, Lusaka, has on average dropped by almost half in the last six
years. The percentage of unmarried women who were sexually active fell
from 52% to 35% between 1990 and 1996.
- A study in Zambia
showed that in one hospital, deaths among health care workers
increased 13-fold over the 10-year period from 1980 to 1990, largely
because of HIV.
- West Africa
is relatively less affected, with prevalence rates of under 2% in
some countries. However, Côte d'Ivoire is already among
the 15 worst-affected countries in the world. In Nigeria, by
far the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, over 2.7 million
people are infected with HIV.
- By the year 2010,
crude death rates in Cameroon will have more than doubled as
a result of HIV/AIDS. An estimated 340,000 people in Ghana are
currently living with HIV.
- In North Africa,
there is insufficient data but localized studies in southern Algeria
show rates of around 1% in pregnant women attending antenatal clinics.
Surveillance sites in both northern and southern Sudan indicate that
HIV is spreading among the general population. In North Africa and the
Middle East, there were some 80,000 new infections in the region
- Infection rates
in East Africa, once the highest on the continent, hover above
those in West Africa but have been exceeded by the rates now being seen
in the southern cone.
- The prevalence
rate among adults in Ethiopia and Kenya has reached double-digit
figures and continues to rise.
- Through strong
prevention programmes, Uganda has brought its estimated prevalence
rate down to around 8% in 1999 from a peak of close to 14% in the early
1990s. HIV prevalence among 13-19-year-old girls has fallen significantly
over an eight-year period, while the rate in teenage boys - always much
lower because boys are less likely than girls to have partners in the
older, more heavily infected age groups - has remained roughly stable.
The percentage of teenage girls who had ever used a condom tripled between
1994 and 1997.
- HIV-positive patients
have occupied 39% of the beds in Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi,
Kenya, and 70% of the beds in the Prince Regent Hospital in Bujumbura,
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