AIDS Alert International

HIV/AIDS Epidemic Key Points

UNAIDS recently released its 2007 estimates of the HIV epidemic worldwide, and included these essential findings in its 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update, which is available on the UNAIDS Web site at

  • Each day, more than 6,800 people become infected with HIV and more than 5,700 people die from AIDS.
  • The global prevalence of HIV infection is at the same level, although the global number of persons living with HIV is increasing because of ongoing accumulation of new infections with longer survival times.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 35 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS and 32 percent of all new HIV infections and AIDS deaths worldwide in 2007.
  • South Africa has the largest number of HIV infections in the world, but recent data suggesting HIV prevalence is leveling off.
  • Eight countries have an adult HIV prevalence of greater than 15 percent. These countries are Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • In Swaziland, 26 percent of adults are HIV positive.
  • In Namibia, 20 percent of women attending antenatal clinics tested positive for HIV in 2006.
  • In Lesotho, 38 percent of women attending antenatal clinics in the 25 to 39-year age group tested positive for HIV in 2005.
  • Some countries have had reductions in prevalence.
  • The recent scaling up of access to antiretroviral treatment has helped to reduce HIV-associated deaths.
  • New HIV infections have declined globally, and in some countries declines can be attributed to behavior changes.
  • HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Kenya dropped by more than 25 percent.
  • HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Zimbabwe has dropped from 26 percent in 2002 to 18 percent in 2006.
  • Data show reductions in some risk behaviors among young people in Kenya and Haiti.
  • Reported condom use among young people in Cameroon, Kenya, Haiti, Malawi, and Zimbabwe has increased.
  • In Vietnam, the number of people infected with HIV has increased from 120,000 in 2000 to 260,000 in 2005.
  • In Pakistan, the epidemic is exploding among injection drug users (IDUs): HIV prevalence among IDUs was less than 1 percent in 2004; it was 26 percent in March 2005.
  • In Indonesia, the epidemic is Asia's fastest growing one, and most of the infections involve contaminated injecting equipment, unprotected paid sex, and unprotected sex between men who have sex with men (MSM).
  • In 2005, more than 40 percent of IDUs in Jakarta, Indonesia, were HIV positive.
  • In Cambodia, HIV prevalence among adults has fallen from 2 percent in 1998 to 0.9 percent in 2006.
  • The epidemic in the Russian Federation is increasing, but its rate of increase has slowed. The annual number of new HIV cases had dropped from a peak in 2001 of 87,000 to 34,000 in 2003. In 2006, there were 39,000 new HIV diagnoses.
  • HIV diagnoses each year have doubled in the Ukraine since 2001, where there were 8,700 new diagnoses in the first six months of 2007.
  • In Tajikistan, HIV prevalence among IDUs has risen from 16 percent in 2005 to 24 percent in 2006 in the cities of Dushanbe and Khujand.