Be the Cause

Facts About AIDS

I found this fact sheet on the web recently. Since so much of this service vacation in South Africa involves helping children who have become orphans because of the AIDS pandemic, I thought the facts and figures would help raise awareness that AIDS is still rampant and tragically affecting so many lives there and around the world. Reading these facts, and looking at the number of deaths from AIDS, made me realize, even sitting here, I need to do something to help these people and countries that do not have access to the health care we have in the U.S.

HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet – The Global Pandemic*

Approximately 2,000 children worldwide are infected with HIV each day. Over 90 percent of these children were infected through mother-to-child transmission.AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003 UNAIDS/WHO

In 2003, five million (4.2-5.8 million) people were newly infected with HIV – 700,000 (590,000 – 810,000) of them were children. AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003 UNAIDS/WHO

Approximately 40 million (34-46 million) people are infected with HIV worldwide – 2.5 million (2.1- 2.9 million) of them are children.
AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003 UNAIDS/WHO

In some parts of Africa, more than 60 percent of women aged 15-49 do not know that HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her child.
“No time to be young in a world with AIDS” — A poster produced jointly by UNAIDS and UNICEF, 2002

Infants can become infected during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. 15-20 percent of infant infections occur in pregnancy, 50 percent during labor and delivery, and the remaining 33 percent of infant infections occur while breastfeeding. A UNICEF fact sheet/ Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV- February 2002

In industrialized nations, research and effective intervention have drastically reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV to less than two percent. If we act now, thousands of children’s lives in the developing world can be saved by using proven low-cost interventions.
AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2002 UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

In 2003, three million (2.5-3.5 million) people died of AIDS – 500,000 (420,000-580,000) of them were children. This amounts to approximately 1,400 children’s deaths from AIDS per day. AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003 UNAIDS/WHO

Every day an average of 6,000 – 7,000 young people become infected with HIV; that translates to about four to five infections every minute.
United Nations/DESA/Gateway to Social Policy & Development: World Youth Report 2003: The Global Situation of Young People

Worldwide, about 50 percent of all new HIV infections occur among young people 15-24 years-old. Young people and HIV/AIDS: Opportunity in Crises: A joint report by UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO

Women now account for 50 percent of all the number of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003 UNAIDS/WHO

More than 13.1 million children around the world have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic since it began, and that number is expected to reach more than 25 million by 2010. Children on the Brink 2002: A Joint UNICEF/UNAIDS/USAID Report on Orphan Estimates and Program Strategies

In the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, researchers vastly underestimated the impact the disease would have. They originally predicted that the annual number of deaths from AIDS would peak at 1.7 million in 2006.
United Nations/DESA/Gateway to Social Policy & Development: World Youth Report 2003: The Global Situation of Young People

It is estimated that an additional 45 million people will become infected with HIV by 2010 unless the world drastically expands global prevention efforts. Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic: December 2002 UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

More than 95 percent of people with HIV live in the developing world. AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003 UNAIDS/WHO

The material in this fact sheet was last updated in May 2004. For more information call Chris Hudnall at (310) 314-1459 or visit the Web site at

The estimates for this fact sheet were compiled with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNAIDS, UNICEF, USAID, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

*Please note that the ranges around the estimates in the facts for Global Pandemic define the
boundaries within which the actual numbers lie based on the best available information. These ranges are more precise than those of previous years, and work is under way to increase even further the precision of the estimates.


  • Ann Nguyen

    Jeska, Sukh, Cheryl, Michele and everyone,
    I am still reading your entries and trying to take in all that is written and unwritten. I am thinking about the connection between people on different sides of the globe and trying to understand suffering. I learned a long time ago that suffering is suffering and there are not degrees of suffering. The loss of a child, the struggle for survival, the dehumanization of people occurs everywhere. I sense your struggle at seeing the face of humanity in pain. I also sense your joy at seeing how people can overcome terrible odds to make each day, each moment count. I thank you for sharing with us here. I am thinking of you each and every moment and sending my heart out to each and every person you come into contact with.
    May your presence in South Africa bring joy and peace into the hearts of those you meet each day. May you continue to grow in wisdom and love.
    With much love and hope for you and our world.
    Ann Nguyen

  • Wisc

    Wow! I didn’t know that site was that good!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.