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The global impact of HIV/AIDS

Abstract

The scale of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS epidemic has exceeded all expectations since its identification 20 years ago. Globally, an estimated 36 million people are currently living with HIV, and some 20 million people have already died, with the worst of the epidemic centred on sub-Saharan Africa. But just as the spread of HIV has been greater than predicted, so too has been its impact on social capital, population structure and economic growth. Responding to AIDS on a scale commensurate with the epidemic is a global imperative, and the tools for an effective response are known. Nothing less than a sustained social mobilization is necessary to combat one of the most serious crises facing human development.

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Figure 1: Worldwide numbers of adults and children estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2000.
Figure 2: Annual number of newly registered HIV infections in Russia from 1993 until September 2000.
Figure 3: Spread of HIV in Africa, 1984–1999.
Figure 4: Reported sexually transmitted infections in China, 1985 to 1999.
Figure 5: Lifetime risk of dying of AIDS for 15-year-old boys from selected countries, assuming unchanged or halved risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Figure 6: Growth impact of HIV.
Figure 7: Reduction in production in a Zimbabwean household with an AIDS death.

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Correspondence to Peter Piot.

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Piot, P., Bartos, M., Ghys, P. et al. The global impact of HIV/AIDS. Nature 410, 968–973 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35073639

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