World Aids Day: Thirty-four million reasons to act

The Aids crisis has affected so many millions that the numbers can be difficult to understand. Here, we look at the statistics behind the epidemic.

Lies, damned lies and statistics,the cynical old phrase goes, but the growth of HIV/Aids in an information-saturated age means that the growth of the disease, from the first diagnoses in the Eighties to what's hoped to be its late-Nineties peak, has been tracked and traced like no other.

These figures are, of course, just a snapshot of the numbers behind the crisis, but they allow us to appreciate the number of lives that the illness has touched – from the over 300,000 infected with HIV at birth to the 16.6 million children who've lost parents to the disease.

These figures are taken from various sources – predominantly the UNAids World Aids Day report 2011, but also figures from: the World Health Organisation; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; The Global Fund To fight HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the National Aids Trust



People in South Africa with HIV/Aids – the largest epidemic in the world.


Deaths prevented by in low- and middle-income countries since 1995 by antiretroviral therapy.


Number of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men in the UK during 2010, the highest annual number ever.


Proportion of people living with HIV in the UK. The proportion of men is estimated to be 0.2 per cent; women 0.9 per cent.


HIV/Aids remains the second-most common cause of death for 20 to 24-year-oldsin the world.


Almost half of the deaths from Aids-related illnesses in 2010 occurred in southern Africa. Aids has claimed at least a million lives annually in sub-Saharan Africa since 1998.


New cases of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa have dropped from 2.6 million to 1.9 million since 1997.


Total new HIV diagnoses worldwide in 2010.


Half (17 million) of those living with Aids worldwide are women.


Aids-related deaths in 2010


Children who have lost their parents due to HIV (as of 2009)


Money committed to the Global Fund by the United States President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.


Amount committed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in grants to The Global Fund.


People infected with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic.


of the new HIV diagnoses in 2010 were of children

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World Aids Day: Thirty-four million reasons to act