Prevalence of HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic. As of 2014, approximately 37 million people have HIV worldwide with the number of new infections that year being about 2 million.This is down from 3.1 million new infections in 2001.Of these 37 million more than half are women and 2.6 million are less than 15 years old. It resulted in about 1.2 million deaths in 2014, down from a peak of 2.2 million in 2005 (Cohen & Hellmann, 2015).

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected. In 2010, an estimated 68% (22.9 million) of all HIV cases and 66% of all deaths (1.2 million) occurred in this region. This means that about 5% of the adult population is infected and it is believed to be the cause of 10% of all deaths in children. Here in contrast to other regions women compose nearly 60% of cases. South Africa has the largest population of people with HIV of any country in the world at 5.9 million. Life expectancy has fallen in the worst-affected countries due to HIV/AIDS; for example, in 2006 it was estimated that it had dropped from 65 to 35 years in Botswana. Mother-to-child transmission, as of 2013, in Botswana and South Africa has decreased to less than 5% with improvement in many other African nations due to improved access to antiretroviral therapy (Mandell, 2014).

Although HIV prevalence is much lower in Nigeria (estimated 3.4% of the populations are living with HIV) than in many African countries, such as South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia, the size of Nigeria’s population means that in no distance future the number of people leaving with HIV will almost double. Approximately 210,000 people die yearly and the natural life expectancy is 56 years (Odutolu, 2006).


Cohen, M. S. & Hellmann, S. C. (2015).HIV prevention in clinical care settings: 2014 recommendations of the International Antiviral Society-USA Panel. JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, 312 (4), 390–409.

Mandell, G. F. (2014). Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone.

Odutolu, O. (2006) AIDS in Nigeria.WHO facts sheet 16 – 18. Geneva: World Health Organisation.

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