HIV in Eastern And Southern Contries.


 

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A six weeks old baby was recently tested for HIV. His mother is living with HIV and is participating in PMTCT programme at a local clinic in Lusaka, Zambia.

With only 5 per cent of the world’s population, Eastern and Southern Africa is home to half the world’s population living with HIV. Today the region continues to be the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with 48 per cent of the world’s new HIV infections among adults, 55 per cent among children, and 48 per cent of AIDS-related deaths [1].

 

The Southern Africa sub-region, in particular, experiences the most severe HIV epidemics in the world. Nine countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe – have adult HIV prevalence rates of over 10 per cent. At an estimated 26.0 per cent, Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, followed by Botswana (23.4 per cent) and Lesotho (23.3 per cent). With 5.6 million people living with HIV (17.3 per cent), South Africa is home to the world’s largest epidemic.

 

In the past 10 years, efforts to halt the spread of the epidemic by national governments and development partners have borne fruits: new infections among adults have decreased by more than 50 per cent in Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and by more than 25 per cent in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland. Among children, the number of new infections has dropped from 330,000 in 2001, to 180,000 in 2011.

 

Despite the progress, there are still 17.1 million adults and children living with HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa, and the figure continues to increase as antiretroviral therapy (ART) ensures millions of people with HIV can now live a healthy life. Moreover, most people on ART start treatment late, limiting the overall impact of antiretroviral medicines.

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