Children and AIDS
Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) continues to be the epicentre of the HIV epidemic.
The Southern Africa sub-region, in particular, experiences the most severe HIV epidemics in the world, with one third (34 percent) of all people living with HIV globally residing in the 10 countries of Southern Africa.
Nine of the Southern African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) have HIV prevalence rates among adults (15 to 49 years) of over 10 percent.
At an estimated 25.9 per cent, Swaziland has the highest rate in the world, followed by Botswana (24.8 percent) and Lesotho (23.6 percent). With 5.6 million people infected, South Africa is home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV and AIDS.
In 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, however, new infections have dropped by more than 25 percent between 2001 and 2009, including in some of the countries with the largest epidemics such as Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe was the first country in Southern Africa to record a significant, sustained declined in HIV infections (from 29 percent in 1997 to 16 percent in 2007). The annual HIV incidence in South Africa, though still high at 1.5 percent in 2009, dropped from 2.4 percent in 2001.
The epidemics in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia also appear to be declining while those in Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland seem to be leveling off. Angola’s relatively younger epidemic, on other other hand, still appears to be growing.
Around 59 per cent of people 15 years and older living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are female.