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Fact of the week



38.6 million: The number of people living with HIV in 2005 - nearly half of whom are women

Millennium Development Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria & other diseases
Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Several countries report success in reducing HIV infection rates, through interventions that promote behaviour change. However, rates of infection overall are still growing. And the number of people living with HIV has continued to rise, from 36.2 million in 2003 to 38.6 million in 2005 (nearly half of whom are women). There were 4.1 million new infections in 2005. The number of AIDS-related deaths also increased that year, to 2.8 million, despite greater access to antiretroviral treatment and improved care in some regions.

The epidemic remains centred in sub-Saharan Africa. With just over 10 per cent of the world’s people, the region is home to 64 per cent of HIV-positive people and to 90 per cent of children (under 15) living with the virus. Twelve million sub-Saharan African children are orphans. Around 59 per cent of HIV-positive adults in sub-Saharan Africa – a total of 13.2 million people – are women.

Rates of new HIV infections in the region peaked in the late 1990s, and prevalence rates in Kenya, Zimbabwe and in urban areas of Burkina Faso show recent declines. HIV prevalence among people aged 15 to 49 in sub-Saharan Africa appears to be levelling off, though at extremely high levels. This apparent stabilization reflects the fact that as new people acquire the virus, nearly the same number die from AIDS. 

Source: UN DESA, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006, New York, June 2006.



About DevInfo

These facts were developed using DevInfo, a software tool for monitoring human development. DevInfo allows the sharing of data across government departments and UN agencies using the same system, and was adapted from UNICEF’s ChildInfo software.

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