Worldwide, 95% of the 33 million+ people living with HIV and AIDS live in developing countries. These countries – already struggling with unjust trade, crippling debt, and ineffective and insufficient aid, have been devastated by AIDS. In first-world countries (like the U.S., Canada, England, etc…) HIV positive people can access drugs that can keep them alive and healthy for up to twenty years, but the world’s poor continue to suffer and die because they lack access to care, treatment and education. Extreme Response partners with local HIV/AIDS projects to assist them with care, treatment, prevention and education.
Approximately 33 million people were living with HIV as of 2007; 2 million of them were children under 15 years, and about 15.5 million were women. Worldwide, AIDS is among the leading causes of death and has already caused an estimated 25 million deaths. Every day, over 7,400 persons become infected with HIV and about 5,500 persons die from AIDS, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention care and treatment services.
Roughly 15 million children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and millions more have been affected, with a vastly increased risk of poverty, homelessness, school drop-out, discrimination, and loss of life opportunities. Of the estimated 2 million people who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2007, 270,000 of them were children under 15 years old.
Global estimates show that the number of children living with HIV continues to increase steadily. From 2001 to 2007, the number of children living with HIV increased from 1.6 million to 2 million. Almost 90 per cent of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV, accounting for 67 per cent of all people around the world living with HIV and for 75 per cent of AIDS deaths in 2007. Most transmission in this region occurs in heterosexual relationships, both in the context of transactional and commercial sex and in longer term relationships including marriage.
Young people aged 15–24 account for an estimated 45 per cent of new HIV infections worldwide
Source: UNAIDS, Report on the global AIDS epidemic, 2008.