[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
From the Surgeon General
April 28, 1999

The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

JAMA. 1999;281(16):1479. doi:10.1001/jama.281.16.1479

An enormous human tragedy is unfolding in many less-developed countries because of the spread of HIV/AIDS. Of the 33.4 million HIV-infected people around the world, there are an estimated 22.5 million in sub-Saharan Africa, 6.7 million in South and Southeast Asia, 1.4 million in Latin America, and 665,000 in the United States. Globally, more than 14 million people have died of the disease, including 2.5 million last year.

In many southern African countries, HIV/AIDS has become an unprecedented emergency, with 20% to 26% of people between the ages of 15 and 49 infected. In Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, HIV/AIDS will reduce life expectancy from 64 to 47 years by 2015. The progress of decades of work immunizing children, controlling diseases, and improving nutrition is being negated by HIV/AIDS.