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Countries with the highest HIV infection in the world – Top 10

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 10, 2009 (Ezega.com) - Based on USAIDS data for 2007, the top 20 HIV-infected nations in the world are all found in Africa. And within Africa, the most HIV-ravaged region is Sub-Sahara Africa, orphaning nearly 12 million children aged 18 years and under. Swaziland tops the list with HIV infection rate of 26.1% among adults aged 15-49 years. That means one in four adults in Swaziland has the HIV virus. This has resulted in Swaziland having the lowest life expectancy rate in the world – just 40 years.
 
HIV has skewed the natural age distribution in many of the highly infected countries in Africa. “This may have potentially perilous economic and social consequence in the future, affecting the transfer of knowledge and values in these countries”, say the USAIDS report. The statistics is staggering. In 2007, the total estimated population with HIV infection in Sub-Sahara Africa was 22 million. This is two-third of the HIV-infected world population of 33 million. And Sub-Sahara Africa accounted for three quarters of all deaths due to AIDS. In just one year, in 2007, an estimated 1.9 million people were infected by the HIV virus.
 
Ethiopia’s HIV infection rate is much more moderate by African standards and is estimated to be 2.1% among the total Ethiopian population aged 15-49 years. Than means, roughly 1 in 50 Ethiopian adults aged 15-49 has the HIV virus. This places Ethiopia in the middle of the pack among African countries (23rd), and ranks 27th among all nations in the world.
 
Overall, the HIV prevalence rate in Africa has been leveling or even declining a bit over the last few years, but barely. For Sub-Sahara Africa as a whole, between 2001 and 2007, the HIV prevalence rate among adults aged 15-49 has dropped from 5.7% to 5.0%. As usual, the highest at risk for HIV infection are female sex workers, children born from HIV-infected parents, men who have sex with men, and injection drug users.

The list below shows the top 10 most HIV-infected countries in Africa (and in the world).

Rank
Country
HIV Infection Rate
(% of population 15-49 years old)
2007 Estimate
 
1
 
Swaziland
 
26.1
 
2
 
Botswana
 
23.9
 
3
 
Lesotho
 
23.2
 
4
 
South Africa
 
18.1
 
5
 
Namibia
 
15.3
 
6
 
Zimbabwe
 
15.3
 
7
 
Zambia
 
15.2
 
8
 
Mozambique
 
12.5
 
9
 
Malawi
 
11.9
 
10
 
Central African Republic
 
6.3
 
Notes
 
Sub-Sahara Africa Average
 
5.0
Ethiopia HIV Rate
2.1
      
 HIV in Africa, Ethiopia News
 
Source: UNAIDS
 

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