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HIV/AIDS in Africa - Statistics & Facts

With the help of education, the use of contraception, and the introduction of modern prevention and treatment medicines which can halt the progression to AIDS and prevent transmission to others, HIV/AIDS is no longer the public health threat that it once was in many countries. However, due to poverty, inadequate medical care, a lack of prevention and education, and stigma, HIV/AIDS continues to be a major health concern in Africa. Rates of HIV/AIDS vary across Africa, but the southern region of the continent is generally most impacted by the disease. As of 2019, HIV/AIDS was the fourth leading cause of death in Africa, accounting for 5.6 percent of all deaths.

Which country has the highest prevalence of HIV?

As of 2020, the twenty countries with the highest prevalence of HIV were all found in Africa. At that time, the country with the highest prevalence of HIV was the tiny southeastern country of Eswatini, formally known as Swaziland, where a shocking 27 percent of the population is living with HIV. Behind Eswatini are the countries of Lesotho, Botswana, and South Africa, all with prevalence rates of almost 20 percent or higher. In Lesotho, there were around 6.43 new HIV infections per 1,000 people in 2019, compared to 4.9 new infections per 1,000 population in Eswatini, and 3.98 in South Africa. Although HIV is usually associated with certain at-risk groups such as people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, and sex workers, these groups do not account for the majority of new HIV infections in eastern and southern Africa. In 2020, around 68 percent of new HIV infections in eastern and southern Africa were among the population outside of these key risk groups.

Treatment and death

In 2019, almost 224 thousand males and 211 thousand females in Africa died from HIV/AIDS. Those aged 30 to 49 years accounted for a majority of these deaths, however, a significant number of deaths from HIV/AIDS also occurred among children and adolescents. At that time around 42 thousand males and over 40 thousand females aged 14 years and younger died from HIV/AIDS. Sadly, although treatment for HIV has been extremely successful in many parts of the world, many people in Africa suffering from the virus do not have access to treatments that can prevent transmission and halt the progression to AIDS. As of 2020, around 77 percent of people in eastern and southern Africa living with HIV were on antiretroviral treatment. However, access to antiretroviral treatment can vary drastically by country. For example, around 98 percent of children living with HIV in Eswatini are receiving antiretroviral treatment, while only 47 percent of children living with HIV in South Africa are receiving such treatment.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "HIV/AIDS in Africa".

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