FACTBOX-Africa bears heavy AIDS burden, hope ahead

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Friday, 4 March 2011 13:42 GMT

March 4 (Reuters) - Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily burdened by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, but there are signs that efforts by the global health community and national governments are starting to slow the epidemic and may be able to turn it around. [ID:nLDE6AM0XN]

The United Nations AIDS programme (UNAIDS) said in a report last September that between 2001 and 2009, new HIV infections fell by more than 25 percent in 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Worldwide, around 33.3 million people are infected with HIV, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.

Here are some details about AIDS in Africa.

* An estimated 22.5 million people with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa, around 68 percent of the global total.

* About 34 percent of all people with HIV live in the 10 countries of southern Africa.

* An estimated 1.8 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2009, down from 2.2 million in 2001. An estimated 1.3 million people in the region died from AIDS-related causes in 2009.

* Between 2004 and 2009, AIDS-related deaths fell by 20 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

* South Africa is home to the world's largest population of HIV-infected people, with 5.6 million.

* With an adult prevalence of 25.9 percent, Swaziland has the world's most severe level of infection.

* National HIV prevalence in Kenya fell from about 14 percent in the mid-1990s to 5 percent in 2006. Between 2002 and 2007, AIDS-related deaths in Kenya fell by 29 percent.

* Since 2001, HIV prevalence in Uganda has stabilised to between 6.5 percent and 7 percent, while in Rwanda, it has been at approximately 3 percent since 2005.

SOURCES: Reuters/www.unaids.org/UNAIDS 2010 Report on the global AIDS epidemic: (Compiled by Kate Kelland and David Cutler, editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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