WHO Report on Global Surveillance of Epidemic-prone Infectious Diseases - Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
- HIV/AIDS continues to spread in all regions of the world but at very different rates. The situation is most dramatic in sub-Saharan Africa, where the highest HIV prevalence rates are found and the number of AIDS cases will continue to rise in the next 5-10 years. An estimated 55% of infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa are women. Meanwhile, the introduction of effective therapies has reduced dramatically the progression to AIDS and death in industrialized countries.
- The gap between rich and poor countries seems to be widening owing to the lack of access to effective therapies and to means for preventing mother-to-child transmission. On the other hand, the success in reducing AIDS mortality and perinatal infections in the industrialized countries cannot mask the failure of preventive programmes in reducing the rate of new infections.
- Surveillance of HIV infections and AIDS cases remains an essential tool to monitor the epidemic, assess its impact and for planning effective interventions at national level. Collection and analysis of information at regional and global levels enables the close monitoring of the spread of HIV, the assessment of the burden of disease and advocacy for an intensified response to the epidemic.