Fact: Anyone Can Get Hiv
One misconception that stubbornly endures is that only gay men can get HIV.
Its true that in the United States, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men continue to have the greatest risk of HIV infection. In 2020, MSM accounted for an estimated 71 percent of new HIV diagnoses, according to the federal government website HIV.gov.
But many individuals acquire HIV through heterosexual contact. In 2020 these cases accounted for more than one in five new HIV infections 22 percent.
Drug users who became infected with HIV by sharing needles made up an estimated 7 percent of new 2020 HIV infections, while transgender people accounted for around 2 percent of new HIV diagnoses.
A New Pattern Emerges
On June 5, 1981, CDC published a report in the MMWR describing requests for the drug pentamidine to treat a deadly disease called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in five previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. After the reports publication, health officials also noticed a spike in cases of Kaposis sarcoma external icon among gay men in New York. Health officials were alarmed that outbreaks of both PCP and KS, which were rare, deadly diseases associated with immune suppression, appeared in the same part of the population.
Historical Data For Selected Countries
HIV/AIDS in World from 2001 to 2014 adult prevalence data from CIA World Factbook
|HIV in World in 2014|
The global epidemic is not homogeneous within regions, with some countries more affected than others. Even at the country level, there are wide variations in infection levels between different areas and different population groups. New HIV infections are falling globally on average , but continue to rise in many parts of the world.Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the worst-affected region, and targeted interventions in the region have decreased the spread of HIV. New infections fell in eastern and southern Africa by 38% from 2010 to 2020, but HIV in western and central Africa has not received the same attention, and as a result has made less progress. HIV rates have declined slightly in Asia and the Pacific, with HIV decreasing in Mainland Southeast Asia, but increasing in the Philippines and Pakistan. From 2010 to 2020, HIV infections increased by 21% in Latin America, 22% in the Middle East and North Africa, and 72% in Eastern Europe and central Asia.
Most people in North America and western and central Europe with HIV are able to access treatment and live long and healthy lives.Annual AIDS deaths have been continually declining since 2005 as antiretroviral therapy has become more widely available.
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Is The World Making Progress In Its Fight Against Hiv/aids
The 1990s saw a substantial increase in the number of people infected with HIV and dying of AIDS.
Between 1996 and 2001 more than 3 million people were infected with HIV every year. Since then the number of new infections began to decline and in 2019 it was reduced to below 2 million. The lowest number of new infections since 1990.
The number of AIDS-related deaths increased throughout the 1990s and reached a peak in 2004, 2005 when in both years close to 2 million people died. Since then the annual number of deaths from AIDS declined as well and was since halved. 2016 was the first year since the peak in which fewer than 1 million people died from AIDS.
The chart also shows the continuing increase in the number of people living with HIV. The rate of increase has slowed down compared to the 1990s, but the absolute number is at the highest ever with more than 36 million people globally living with HIV.
Latest Data On Hiv Prevalence In South Africa
According to Statistics South Africa‘s mid-year population estimates for 2018, the total HIV prevalence rate for the country is 13.1%. The HIV prevalence rate for all adults aged 15 to 49 is 19.0%.Statistics South Africa estimates the number of deaths attributable to AIDS in 2017 as 126,755 or 25.03% of all South African deaths.
A 2008 study revealed that HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa was distinctly divided along racial lines: 13.6% of Black Africans in South Africa are HIV-positive, whereas only 0.3% of Whites living in South Africa have the disease. False traditional beliefs about HIV/AIDS, which contribute to the spread of the disease, persist in townships due to the lack of education and awareness programmes in these regions. Sexual violence and local attitudes toward HIV/AIDS have also amplified the epidemic.
Elisa: The First Hiv Blood Test
In CDCs immunology lab, scientists began working with AIDS specimens as early as July 1981 to understand how the immune systems of young, healthy men were so compromised by the mystery illness. In a photograph from 1983 displayed here, a female CDC research chemist conducts tests on biological fluids from AIDS patients. This work contributed to the theory that an infectious agent, not a genetic defect, was the cause of the disease. CDCs virology labs were among a network of international research centers searching for the virus believed to be the cause of AIDS.
By the next year, the U.S Food and Drug Administration licensed the first commercial blood test, ELISA, to detect HIV. Blood banks begin screening the U.S. blood supply. In a photograph on display, a different CDC lab technician is performing the ELISA test. Using a plastic plate with 96 wells, the lab technician adds the patients blood to different enzymes. Certain reactions between the blood and the enzymes indicated the presence of HIV antibodies.
List Of Countries By Hiv/aids Adult Prevalence Rate
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The human immunodeficiency virus , which causes AIDS, varies in prevalence from nation to nation. Listed here are the prevalence rates among adults in various countries, based on data from various sources, largely the CIA World Factbook.
As of 2018, 38 million people are estimated infected with HIV globally.
The HIV pandemic is most severe in Southern Africa. Over 10% of all people infected with HIV/AIDS reside within the region. Adult HIV prevalence exceeds 15% in Eswatini, Botswana, and Lesotho, while an additional six countries report adult HIV prevalence of at least 10%. Outside Africa, the highest prevalence rate is found in the Bahamas .
Fact: Black And Hispanic/latino People Have Been Hit Especially Hard By Hiv
HIV has had an outsize impact on communities of color in the United States.
Black Americans make up only about 12 percent of the population but accounted for 42 percent of new HIV cases in 2020. Racism, HIV stigma, homophobia, poverty, and barriers to healthcare are powerful forces driving this disparity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Hispanic/Latino individuals have also been disproportionately impacted by HIV, representing 19 percent of the U.S. population yet making up 27 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2020.
How Is Hiv Diagnosed
An HIV antibody test, either from a blood sample or an oral sample , can tell whether you have been infected. A negative test result means no HIV antibodies were found. This usually means you are not infected. However, if you engaged in behavior that could spread the virus within three months of having the test, antibodies may not be detectable and you should be re-tested. A positive test result means antibodies to HIV were found. This means you are infected with the virus and can pass HIV to others even if you have no symptoms. You are infected for life. Even if you think you have a low risk for HIV infection, consider getting tested whenever you have a regular medical check-up.
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New Guidelines: The Universal Precautions
CDC issued guidelines for health workers providing care to AIDS patients and for laboratory technicians performing tests on potentially infectious materials from AIDS patients. The recommendations became known as universal precautions, and included wearing gloves when exposed to blood and other bodily fluids. In a poster promoting health workers using safety precautions, a group of five health workers are shown wearing gloves, masks, and goggles. Since the universal precautions also established using safe needle disposal cases, a needle disposal container is on display with the body fluids barrier kit. The disposal case is a red sealed plastic container with the biohazard symbol displayed prominently on all sides and an opening at the top into which used needles are disposed.
How Have Deaths From Hiv/aids Changed Over Time
Global deaths from HIV/AIDS halved within a decade
The world has made significant progress against HIV/AIDS. Global deaths from AIDS have halved over the past decade.
In the visualization we see the global number of deaths from HIV/AIDS in recent decades this is shown by age group. In the early 2000s 2004 to 2005 global deaths reached their peak at almost 2 million per year.
Driven mostly by the development and availability of antiretroviral therapy , global deaths have halved since then. In 2017, just under one million died from the disease.
You can explore this change for any country or region using the change country toggle on the interactive chart.
HIV/AIDS once accounted for more than 1-in-3 deaths in some countries, but rates are now falling
Global progress on HIV/AIDS has been driven by large improvements in countries which were most affected by the HIV epidemic.
Today the share of deaths remains high: more than 1-in-4 deaths in some countries are caused by HIV/AIDS. But in the past this share was even higher.In the visualization we see the change in the share of deaths from HIV/AIDS over time. From the 1990s through to the early 2000s, it was the cause of greater than 1-in-3 deaths in several countries. In Zimbabwe, it accounted for more than half of annual deaths in the late 1990s.
We see that over the past decade this share has fallen as antiretoviral treatment has become more widely available.
Children living with HIV
New HIV infections of children
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Myth : Hiv Decreases Your Life Expectancy
Fact: while it is true that HIV patients had a short life expectancy at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, today the situation is completely different. Medical advancement and newer, improved medications have significantly changed the game.
Today, people with HIV have highly improved life spans with many even having a normal life expectancy. And thats not all, early intervention may even help prevent HIV from turning into AIDS.
Middle East And North Africa
HIV/AIDS prevalence among the adult population in the Middle East and North Africa is estimated less than 0.1 between 1990 and 2018. This is the lowest prevalence rate compared to other regions in the world.
In the MENA, roughly 240,000 people are living with HIV as of 2018 and Iran accounted for approximately one-quarter of the population with HIV followed by Sudan . As well as, Sudan , Iran and Egypt took up more than 60% of the number of new infections in the MENA . Roughly two-thirds of AIDS-related deaths in this region happened in these countries for the year 2018.
Although the prevalence is low, concerns remain in this region. First, unlike the global downward trend in new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, the numbers have continuously increased in the MENA. Second, compared to the global rate of antiretroviral therapy , the MENA region’s rate is far below . The low participation of ART increases not only the number of AIDS-related deaths but the risk of mother-to-baby HIV infections, in which the MENA shows relatively high rates compared to other regions, for example, southern Africa , Asia and the Pacific .
Key population at high risk in this region is identified as injection drug users, female sex workers and men who have sex with men.
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Fact: You Can Have Hiv And Not Know It
Its estimated that about one in eight people with HIV dont know they have it.
Within the first two to four weeks of an HIV infection, a person may experience flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, headache, sore throat, and muscle and joint pain. Other HIV symptoms can include painful, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash with small bumps.
But in some cases people wont experience any symptoms at all during this early stage of infection, the CDC reports, and they can spread the virus without realizing it.
The only way to know for sure whether you or a partner is HIV positive is to get tested.
What About Hiv Around The World
HIV disease continues to be a serious health issue for parts of the world. Worldwide, there were about 2.1 million new cases of HIV in 2015. About 36.7 million people are living with HIV around the world, and as of June 2016, 17 million people living with HIV were receiving medicines to treat HIV, called antiretroviral therapy . An estimated 1.1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa, which bears the heaviest burden of HIV/AIDS worldwide, accounts for 65% of all new HIV infections. Other regions significantly affected by HIV/AIDS include Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
CDC’s Global AIDS websiteexplains what CDC is doing in the global fight against HIV.
Eastern Europe And Central Asia
There is growing concern about a rapidly growing epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where an estimated 1.233.7 million people were infected as of December 2011, though the adult prevalence rate is low . The rate of HIV infections began to grow rapidly from the mid-1990s, due to social and economic collapse, increased levels of intravenous drug use and increased numbers of sex workers. By 2010 the number of reported cases in Russia was over 450,000 according to the World Health Organization, up from 15,000 in 1995 and 190,000 in 2002 some estimates claim the real number is up to eight times higher, well over 2 million.
Ukraine and Estonia also have growing numbers of infected people, with estimates of 240,000 and 7,400 respectively in 2018. Also, transmission of HIV is increasing through sexual contact and drug use among the young . Indeed, over 84% of current AIDS cases in this region occur in non-drug-using heterosexuals less than 26 years of age.
In most countries of Western Europe, AIDS cases have fallen to levels not seen since the original outbreak many attribute this trend to aggressive educational campaigns, screening of blood transfusions and increased use of condoms. Also, the death rate from AIDS in Western Europe has fallen sharply, as new AIDS therapies have proven to be an effective means of suppressing HIV.
Hiv Deaths In The United States
In the United States, no less than 675,000 people have died of HIV since the first cases were reported back in 1981. In 1995, during the height of the AIDS crisis in the U.S., over 65,000 deaths were reported in that one year alone.
With the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy in 1996 , the death rate plummeted. Within the span of three short years, the death rate in North America and Europe dropped by more than 50%âthe first such downturn since the start of the pandemic.
With the introduction of newer drugs and newer classes of antiretrovirals, the death rate has continued to decline.
According to a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there were 15,815 deaths reported among the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States. That is a 7% drop from just five years earlier.
Despite the advances, there remains a clear disparity in the populations affected by HIV. Among some of the factors influencing mortality rates are geography, sex orientation, and race.
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Hiv/aids In South Africa
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HIV/AIDS is one of the most serious health concerns in South Africa. The country has the highest number of people afflicted with HIV of any country, and the fourth-highest adult HIV prevalence rate, according to the 2019 United Nations statistics.
What Can Women Do
- Talk about it. Learn the facts about HIV, and share this lifesaving information with your family, friends, and community. Let’s Stop HIV Together, part of Act Against AIDS, has many resources for raising awareness about HIV and includes many video testimonials from people living with HIV.
- Start Doing It – getting tested for HIV . Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, get an HIV test as soon as possible.
The most effective way to prevent HIV is to abstain from sexual activity and injection drug use. However, if you are sexually active or use injection drugs, today there are more tools available to prevent HIV. You can:
- Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. Learn the right way to use a male condom or a female condom.
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
- Never share needles.
- Talk to your doctor about pre-exposure prophylaxis , taking medicine daily to prevent HIV infection, if you are at very high risk for HIV.
- Talk to your doctor about post-exposure prophylaxis if you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 3 days through sex, sharing needles and works, or a sexual assault.
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