Universal access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support
Making the money work
Source: UNAIDS/WHO 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update
In 2008, an estimated 1.9 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa became newly infected with HIV, bringing the total number of people living with HIV to 22.4 million. While the rate of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa has slowly declined—with the number of new infections in 2008 approximately 25% lower than at the epidemic’s peak in the region in 1995—the number of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa slightly increased in 2008, in part due to increased longevity stemming from improved access to HIV treatment. Adult (15–49) HIV prevalence declined from 5.8% in 2001 to 5.2% in 2008. In 2008, an estimated 1.4 million AIDS-related deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. This number represents an 18% decline in annual HIV-related mortality in the region since 2004.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV. In 2008, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 67% of HIV infections worldwide, 68% of new HIV infections among adults and 91% of new HIV infections among children. The region also accounted for 72% of the world’s AIDS-related deaths in 2008.
The epidemic continues to have an enormous impact on households, communities, businesses, public services and national economies in the region. In Swaziland, average life expectancy fell by half between 1990 and 2007, to 37 years. In 2008, more than 14.1 million children in sub-Saharan Africa were estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
Continuing disproportionate impact on women and girls
Women and girls continue to be affected disproportionately by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, home to the most serious epidemic in West Africa, HIV prevalence among females (6.4%) was more than twice as high as among males (2.9%) in 2005. In sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, women account for approximately 60% of estimated HIV infections.
Women’s vulnerability to HIV in sub-Saharan Africa stems not only from their greater physiological susceptibility to heterosexual transmission, but also to the severe social, legal and economic disadvantages they often confront. A recent comprehensive epidemiological review undertaken in connection with the modes of transmission study in Lesotho found that sexual and physical violence is a key determinant of the country’s severe HIV epidemic. According to a recent survey, 47% of men and 40% of women in Lesotho say women have no right to refuse sex with their husbands or boyfriends.
UNAIDS Eastern and Southern Africa - Regional website
HIV Prevention: Database of consultants
This website is an initiative of the Joint Africa Regional United Nations working group on HIV Prevention through UNAIDS East and Southern Africa and the Southern African Technical Support Facility.
Africa Regional Workshop - Women’s Leadership in HIV/AIDS (pdf, 99.9 Kb)
January 28 - February 15, 2008
Expert think tank meeting on HIV prevention in high-prevalence countries in Southern Africa:
External report from SADC/Botswana (pdf, 564 KB)