Africa occupies an unfortunate position in the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic. The 19 countries worldwide with the highest prevalence of reported infections are all African countries, and South Africa is reported to have the largest population living with the disease, at well over 5 million people infected. The first cases of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were reported in 1981. Since then the infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has grown to pandemonic proportions. This has resulted in an estimated 65 million infections and 25 million deaths. In the year 2005 alone the HIV/AIDS rates estimated 2.8 million deaths from AIDS, 4.1 million were newly infected with HIV and 38.6 million were living with HIV. The disorder continues to disproportionately affect certain geographic regions like sub- Saharan Africa and the Carribean and other sub populations. The current HIV/AIDS rates is that HIV is the sixth leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 (1999). Among African-American women in this age group, HIV infection is the third leading cause of death, and among African- American men, it`s the leading cause of death.
It`s estimated that at least half of all new HIV infections in the U.S. are among people under 25, and the majority of young people are infected sexually. Thus, prevention is still vital to eliminate infection. The high HIV/AIDS rates in Sub Sahara Africa are such that it is home to the 64% of the world population living with HIV. Transmission here is primarily through heterosexual contact and more women are HIV infected than men. The HIV/AIDS rates in Asia have a lower adult HIV/AIDS rates than in countries in Sub Saharan Africa. The risk factors here are mainly attributed to various high risk behaviours like unprotected sexual intercourse with sex workers, Injection Drug Users or IDUs, Men who have sex with men or MSM.
HIV/AIDS rates in Americas are reported mostly among MSM, IDus and sex workers. Brazil is the second most populous country in the Americas after the United States. Its adult prevalence is 0.5% and has approximately 30% of the population living with HIV in South and Central America and the Caribbean. The recent HIV/AIDS rates in the United States, suggests a resurgence of HIV transmission among MSM; during 2001--2004, an estimated 44% of new HIV infections were in MSM, and 17% were in IDUs (6). In addition, blacks and Hispanics together account for 69% of all reported HIV/AIDS cases. In the United States, 55% of persons in need of ART received it in 2005.
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