During 1999, over 5 million people became newly infected with HIV --
bringing to over 34 million the number of people living with HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has claimed almost 19
million lives over the past two decades -- including almost 4 million
children. And it has left over 13 million children orphaned in its wake.
Life expectancy and child survival rates have plummeted in some of
the worst affected countries and the disease is today having a major
impact on social and economic development.
Hardest hit is sub-Saharan Africa where 24.5 million people are now
living with HIV. In Botswana, almost 36% of the adult population are
Meanwhile in South Africa, where one in five of the population are
HIV positive, over 4 million people are living with AIDS -- more than
in any other country in the world.
Prevention and care strategies for HIV
There is no cure for AIDS. However, a comprehensive package of prevention
and care strategies -- based on firm political commitment, can have a
major impact on the burden and spread of HIV/AIDS.
Effective measures include: