FACTBOX-Africa still worst hit by AIDS
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Nov 24 (Reuters) - An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide are infected with the AIDS virus, according to a statement issued by the World Health Organisation and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Here are some facts about AIDS, according to UNAIDS:#
THE GLOBAL PICTURE:
* Global deaths from AIDS reached an estimated 2 million in 2008, the same number as in 2007. Since the AIDS pandemic started in the early 1980s, almost 60 million people have been infected with the virus and 25 million have died of HIV-related causes.
* In 2008, around 430 000 children were born with HIV, bringing to 2.1 million the total number of children under 15 living with HIV. Young people account for around 40 percent of all new adult (15+) HIV infections worldwide.
* The annual number of new HIV infections remained the same in 2008 as for 2007 at 2.7 million. This is down from 3.0 million in 2001.
* Although 33.4 million people suffered human immunodeficiency virus infections in 2008, more of them are living with HIV than ever before because people are living longer at least in part due to the beneficial effects of antiretroviral therapy.
AFRICA & ASIA:
* Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV, accounting for 67 percent of all people living with HIV worldwide and 91 percent of all new infections among children.
* Sub-Saharan Africa also accounts for 72 percent of AIDS-related deaths.
* An estimated 1.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008, bringing to 22.4 million the number of Africans living with HIV.
* The nine countries in southern Africa continue to bear a disproportionate share of the global AIDS burden, with each of them having an adult HIV prevalence greater than 10 percent.
* With an adult HIV prevalence of 26 percent in 2007, Swaziland has the most severe level of infection in the world. Lesotho's epidemic seems to have stabilized, with a prevalence of 23.2 percent in 2008.
* South Africa continues to be home to the world's largest population of people living with HIV - 5.7 million in 2007.
* In Asia, an estimated 4.7 million people were living with HIV in 2008. The number of new HIV infections decreased from 400,000 in 2001 to 350 000 in 2008.
* In 2008, an estimated 330,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses.
* Asia, home to 60 percent of the world's population, is second only to sub-Saharan Africa in terms of people living with HIV.
* India accounts for roughly half of Asia's HIV prevalence. With the exception of Thailand, every country in Asia has an adult HIV prevalence of less than 1 percent.
* HIV prevalence in eastern Europe and Central Asia is on the rise, with severe and growing epidemics in the Ukraine and Russia. With an adult HIV prevalence of 1.6 percent in 2007, Ukraine has the highest prevalence in all of Europe.
* In Latin America, new HIV infections totalled an estimated 170,000 in 2008 bringing to 2 million the number of people living with HIV in Latin America. An estimated 77,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses last year.
* In 2008, North America had 55,000 new HIV infections and Western and Central Europe had 30,000 new infections.
Sources:Reuters/UNAIDS (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ ) (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Bill Tarrant) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 20 7542 7968; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))
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