HIV/AIDS - World Trends

Last Editorial Review: 11/14/2001

Did you know:

  • Young people under age 25 represent half of all new HIV infection cases.
  • Ten million people ages 15-24 are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Every minute, five young people are infected with HIV.
  • Activities such as body piercing, tattooing, sharing razor blades, and using performance enhancing injection drugs (i.e., steroids) may increase your risk for contracting HIV if contaminated equipment is used. 

Trends Around The World

  • In North America, Western Europe, Australia and some Latin American countries like Brazil, availability of antiretroviral therapies and health care have slowed the progression from HIV to AIDS. Countries where good education, prevention, and care programs are available often experience lower rates of infection with HIV.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed the largest number of new infections, although regional infection rates have begun to increase less rapidly. 
  • Asia - The pandemic in some Asian nations is growing s a result of the sex trade, illicit drug use, and extensive migration across borders. In addition the safety of donated blood supplies and blood products is of increasing concern. For example:
    • Researchers estimate that the number of AIDS cases in China is growing by nearly 30% each year.
    • In India, the number of new infections is doubling every 14 months. As a result, India will soon overtake South Africa as the nation with the most people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • The Caribbean - The AIDS pandemic has hit the Caribbean harder than anywhere outside of sub-Saharan Africa. 2% of the population has HIV or AIDS, and the number of AIDS cases is doubling every two to three years.
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia - The dramatic increases in HIV infections in these regions are fueled by economic instability, which in turn has contributed to the growth of the commercial sex and drug industries.
    • In the Russian Federation, the number of reported HIV cases rose from 10,000 in January 1999 to approximately 130,000 in July 2001.

HIV In The United States

800,000 to 900,000 people in the US are currently living with HIV or AIDS. Of these, and estimated 300,000 are unaware that they are infected. Even though the US has been successful in reducing the mortality rate of HIV, they have yet to reduce the number of new infections.

Evidence suggests that HIV and AIDS have disproportionately affected women, people of color, and youth in the US.

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Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the American Association of World Health (

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