Are you wondering how many people have AIDS? HIV infection and AIDS remain to be a continuing concern for many countries across the globe. According to the year 2018 statistical study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.2 million people are positive for an HIV diagnosis in the United States alone.
In the USA, HIV infection is a largely prevalent disease that occurs in most metropolitan areas. The South region has the highest number of people living with HIV infection. However, if we consider the population size, the Northeast region has the highest rate of HIV-positive individuals.
Overview of HIV Infection and AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also known as HIV Infection, is one of the most life-threatening diseases in today’s time. Over the years, it became progressive and led to a condition known as AIDS, which also stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. When a person develops AIDS, they experience a gradual yet persistent decline of their immune system. This event causes the person to have a weak immune function, making them prone to health risks and complications.
In most cases, people with HIV and AIDS live with a heightened risk of acquiring rare infections and cancers. Their immune response’s failure also makes them more susceptible to straightforward yet deadly viruses, which brings them to an imminent danger.
People primarily share HIV through body fluids and sexual contact. However, non-sexual transmission can also occur. A mother can pass on an HIV infection to her child during childbirth and pregnancy or through breastfeeding. On the other side, sharing needles, injection equipment, or direct blood-to-blood contact can also cause HIV to spread.
HIV Infection and AIDS Around the World
Severe cases of HIV infection and AIDS continue to spread across different parts of the world. In 2019, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS recorded about 1.7 million new HIV infections. This number leads to a total of 38 million people living with HIV worldwide. Among this number, only 26 million actively receive antiretroviral therapy (ART), the medications used to help treat HIV.
Worldwide, the Sub-Saharan Africa region has the most cases of HIV Infection and AIDS. They account for almost sixty-one percent of all the new HIV infections. Other areas, including Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Latin America, also have many cases.
HIV Infection and AIDS Mortality
When it comes to the mortality rate of AIDS, we can find a significant reduction by sixty percent since its peak in the year 2004. This decline brings us to an estimated total of 770,000 people who have died from illnesses related to AIDS in 2018. In the year 2019, the UNAIDS has recorded around 690,000 AIDS-related deaths worldwide. The mortality rate is an estimate of the number of people that have an HIV and AIDS-related death during the specific year. Researchers calculate this rate by expressing against 100,000 population.
HIV and AIDS Death Rate Global Distribution
The death rate global distribution measures the number of HIV and AIDS-related deaths per 100,000 individuals in the region. Globally, almost two percent of deaths are from HIV and AIDS in the year 2017. Although the data shows a high share rate, the number of cases shows that the death toll for new HIV infections is still consistent. However, a worldwide variation remains for the rest of the world.
Among most regions, Europe has a lower death rate and accounts for less than 0.1 percent of deaths. On the other side, some countries like Southern Sub-Saharan Africa have a higher share than the rest. In 2017, the death toll was 28 percent for countries like Botswana and South Africa. These data come before other countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, and Congo.
Interconnection of Age and Death Rates
Young adults and children under five years of age experience higher death rates accounting for HIV and AIDS. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers this population group to be the most at risk from the said disease.
Younger adults, typically those with ages from fifteen to forty-nine years old, share the highest death rate in 2017. Researchers correlate this data to the direct transmission of the virus, which is sex. Most younger adults have active sex lives, which places unsafe sex to be a primary risk factor. Since HIV is a sexually-transmitted infection, the virus can spread among these individuals.
The death rate for children under five years is also higher among the other age groups. A mother with HIV Infection and AIDS transmits the vector to her child, placing the child at a higher risk. Since viral treatments are only limited to young adults, children who have HIV and AIDS are hard to medicate. Luckily, many AIDS-related initiatives focus on providing a more robust pediatric antiretroviral therapy.
Prevalence of Death Rates by Gender
There is a significant difference between the death rates of men and women who have HIV and AIDS. Women tend to have a higher occurrence of the virus. However, men are more at risk of dying from AIDS. This trend in the number of prevalence and deaths explains that even though women can become infected, they can still survive longer than men. However, there are still no studies that show the correlation between the survival rate and gender.
The prevalence of AIDS in women roots in several issues, this includes social norms and gender inequality. Women have a limited role in sexual protection, and decision-making causes them to be at a higher risk of acquiring the disease, increasing the number of HIV-positive women.
The Fight Against HIV Infection and AIDS
The world continues to make global progress in its fight against HIV infection and AIDS. Annual data and reports show a significant decline in the number of positive cases in the whole world. Over time, the global deaths have already halved compared to their peak in 2015. These are some globally-initiated efforts that help in the fight against HIV and AIDS:
Thanks to the availability of viral treatments, we can find a significant development in the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS. In the past decade, the health and mortality burden of HIV and AIDS became at large. These trends paved the way for scientists to create viral treatments that can help contain the virus. After its FDA approval and release in the 1980s, the AZT is the first to identify and treat HIV and AIDS. These viral treatments suppress the virus replication without damaging other cells.
Today, life expectancy is steadily approaching levels that are similar to the HIV epidemic. Technological advances in the health care development systems have led to the evolution of antiretroviral therapy. ART is a combination of antiviral drugs that work in treating people with HIV. This treatment is the best course of action which continues to save millions of lives. It has become widely available across the globe. Without this treatment, the death toll would be more than twice as many.
HIV patients who take ART have a higher chance to live longer. Without ART, only a few people can survive beyond a decade with the infection. It also helps prevent new HIV infections, making an HIV-positive person less likely to transmit the virus to another person. This scientific breakthrough shows the drug’s capacity to reduce the number of viral particles, lowering the chance of passing the virus.
Preventing mother-to-child transmission of the virus also plays a significant role in lowering cases among children. Several health practices are an observation to provide adequate services that can reduce virus transmission chances. These practices include preventive measures such as giving antiviral therapy for the mother, correct breastfeeding techniques, and early virus detection for the newborn.
Other transmission prevention
- Education. People need to have proper knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS, even at their young age. If a person has the appropriate foundation for how the virus spreads and what safe practices can do, it will help lessen the virus’s spread.
- Safe sex. The primary cause of virus transmission is the body fluid-to-body fluid connection that often happens during unsafe sex. People with an active sexual relationship can prevent HIV infections through the use of condoms.
- Funding. Scientists need sufficient budget and funds to develop advanced treatments necessary for successfully fighting against HIV and AIDS. Aside from research expenditures, several health organizations must have adequate funds to facilitate campaigns to stop the spread. Some of the most common campaigns for HIV prevention include providing free condoms to high-risk populations, free consultation and testing, as well as data gathering and forum campaigns.
- Global response effort. Many international support groups offer voluntary efforts to help in stopping the spread of the disease. They also provide campaigns and coordinates with HIV-positive patients to help in their battle against HIV and AIDS. These support groups are essential in spreading awareness to the population and allowing scientific research about their current conditions.
Wrapping It Up
With the right combination of awareness, prevention, and treatment, our global response to HIV infection and AIDS is nearing its success. There is continuous support that helps fight the epidemic, leading the way to countless researches, which will eventually result in the victorious creation of a vaccine.
Despite the difficulties and struggles, the global health community continues to do its best in making a favorable response to HIV and AIDS. Through the help and assistance of everyone, they make sure that no one will be left behind.
The HIV and AIDS care continuum is slowly increasing its global impact, which would soon mark the end of many years of campaigns and efforts to fight the disease.
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