UN Chart Says AIDS Epidemic Spreading
June 8, 2001
A UN chart released yesterday paints a grim picture of the AIDS epidemic's spread not only in Africa but also in parts of Asia and Latin America. The UN Population Division's (UNPD) chart said that five countries -- Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa -- each have at least 2 million people living with HIV or AIDS. In five other African countries -- Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe -- at least 20 percent of the adult population is infected. By 2005, life expectancy will have dropped by at least 17 years in those five countries and also in Kenya, Namibia and South Africa, the chart showed. India saw the most AIDS deaths (310,000) in 1999, followed by Ethiopia (280,000) and Nigeria (250,000). In Botswana, life expectancy at the end of the 20th century should have been about 68 years, but because of AIDS it was only about 44 years. Similarly in South Africa, life expectancy should have been around 63 years but instead had dropped to about 57 years.
"The numbers show a worsening of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in terms of increased illness, deaths and population loss and we're not even at the peak of the deaths," said Joseph Chamie, UNPD director. "We've had wars before, and a great number of people have died in those wars, but it hasn't had the impact on average life expectancy that we observe in some of the countries hardest-hit by HIV/AIDS," Chamie said. UNPD prepared the chart in advance of the UN General Assembly's special session on HIV/AIDS, June 25-27, which is expected to adopt a global agenda to fight the disease.
06.07.01; Edith M Lederer
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.