In just 2005 there were 40.3 million people worldwide living with HIV. During 2005 it is estimated that 4.9 million people became newly infected with HIV. This is more than any one year before. HIV eventually becomes AIDs which killed a total of 3.1 million people in 2005. Since AIDs was first discovered in 1981, there has been a loss of more than 25 million people due to AIDs.
The epidemic remains extremely dynamic, growing and changing character as the virus exploits new opportunities for transmission. No country in the world is unaffected. The number of people living with HIV has been rising in every region with the steepest recent increases occurring in East Asia and in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The number of AIDs deaths have nearly doubled in East Asia between 2003 and 2005, while a million more people are living with HIV in South and South East Asia in 2005 compared to 2003. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where the epidemic of injecting drug use among millions of young people is fueling HIV transmission, the number of people living with HIV is estimated to be 1.6 million in 2005, a 20 fold increase in less than 10 years. A cure is definitely needed as more and more people yearly become infected and more and more lives are lost. The total loss of life at 25 million is more Jewish lives than Adolf Hitler took during World War II. Adolf Hitler killed about six million jewish people during World War II, possibly a little less.
In North America and in Western and Central Europe (high income countries) there are an estimated 1.9 million people currently living with HIV. In high-income countries, where the great majority of people who need antiretroviral treatment do have access to it, people living with HIV are staying healthy and surviving longer than infected people elsewhere. Widespread access to life-extending antiretroviral treatment kept the number of AIDS deaths at between 19,200 and 42,000 in 2005. However, prevention efforts are not keeping pace with the changing epidemics in several countries. Sex between men is the most common route of infection in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and the United States. Patterns of HIV transmission are changing with an increasing proportion of people becoming infected through unprotected heterosexual intercourse. In Belgium, Norway, and the UK, the increase in heterosexuality transmitted infections is dominated by people from countries with generalized epidemics, predominantly sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, about half of newly reported infections are among African Americans who represent 12% of the population. Their HIV prevalence is 11 times higher than among whites! In New York Cite, over 1% of the city’s adult population, and almost 2% of Manhattan’s, was HIV positive in 2001.
Drug injecting accounted for more than 10% of all reported HIV infections in Western Europe in 2002. In Canada and the United States, about 25% of HIV infections are attributed to drug injecting. Infections transmitted through contaminated injecting equipment are particularly frequent among indigenous people, who are often among the poorest and most marginalized inhabitants of the industrialized World.