| GEO Health|
| Present situation of AIDS in the world|
| Updated at: 1029 PST, Monday, July 19, 2010|
BEIJING: The 18th International AIDS Conference will take place in Vienna, Austria, on July 18-23. About 25,000 delegates from around the world will discuss the current situation of AIDS as well as preventive measures to fight the pandemic.
Following is some basic knowledge on AIDS and the current situation of this disease in the world:
AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This condition progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors.
HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid and breast milk.
This transmission can involve sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids. The average delitescence of HIV virus in the human body is 12 to 13 years.
Ever since it was first recognized in 1981 by American researchers, AIDS has become a worldwide pandemic attracting the attention of the whole world as a major public health hazard and a controversial social issue.
In June 2001, the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS issued a Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS, pledging a coordinated action plan for all countries to fight the disease with the goal of starting to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
Statistics from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS show that around the world, an estimated 33.4 million people now live with HIV. A further breakdown shows that 22.4 million of these people live in Sub-Saharan Africa, 4.7 million in Asia, 2.3 million in North America and Central and Western Europe, 2 million in Latin America and 1.5 million in Eastern Europe.
Moreover, an estimated 2.7 million HIV/AIDS infectors are added each year around the world, with 2 million new infectors from Sub-Saharan Africa. About 2 million people die of the disease every year, with 1.7 million from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Drug abuse has become one of the major factors fostering the spread of AIDS. Currently around the world about 3 million people consume drug by injection and in some countries, up to 40 percent injecting drug users carry HIV virus.
At present the total fund needed for preventing and treating AIDS across the world each year has increased to over $16 billion.
The number of AIDS patients receiving treatment around the world now has reached 4.7 million, 10 times as many as the 2005 figure. But as many as 11 million patients have not received due treatment.
While AIDS has so far remained incurable, it is nevertheless totally preventable. A healthy lifestyle, especially keeping away from drugs, is the most effective way to prevent this deadly disease.
“AIDS is no longer a sexy topic. White America has moved on and Black America is in denial. We’re so paralyzed by the stigma and shame that we ignore it. That’s disheartening to me,” Lewis-Thornton told the Defender.
HIV/AIDS is the number one killer of African-American women between ages 25 and 44. African Americans are three times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than any other racial group; and African-American women accounted for an estimated 69 percent of new infections for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.