Global HIV prevalence has levelled off; AIDS is among the leading causes of death globally and remains the primary cause of death in Africa
Improvements in surveillance increase understanding of the epidemic, resulting in substantial revisions to estimates
Geneva, 20 November 2007 вЂ“ New data show global HIV prevalenceвЂ”the percentage of people living with HIVвЂ”has levelled off and that the number of new infections has fallen, in part as a result of the impact of HIV programmes. However, in 2007 33.2 million [30.6 вЂ“ 36.1 million] people were estimated to be living with HIV, 2.5 million [1.8 вЂ“ 4.1 million] people became newly infected and 2.1 million [1.9 вЂ“ 2.4 million] people died of AIDS.
There were an estimated 1.7 million [1.4 вЂ“ 2.4 million] new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007вЂ”a significant reduction since 2001. However, the region remains most severely affected. An estimated 22.5 million [20.9 вЂ“ 24.3 million] people living with HIV, or 68% of the global total, are in sub-Saharan Africa. Eight countries in this region now account for almost one-third of all new HIV infections and AIDS deaths globally.
Since 2001, when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed, the number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has increased by more than 150% from 630 000 [490 000 вЂ“ 1.1 million] to 1.6 million [1.2 вЂ“ 2.1 million] in 2007. In Asia, the estimated number of people living with HIV in Viet Nam has more than doubled between 2000 and 2005 and Indonesia has the fastest growing epidemic.
These findings were released today by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the report 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update.