"Sub-Saharan Africa ('Africa' hereafter) has been more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. In 2005, the United Nations reports, there were in the range of 24.5 million HIV-positive persons in the region, which has just over 11% of the world's population but about 64% of the worldwide total of infected persons. The overall adult rate of infection in Africa in late 2005 was 6.1%, compared with 1% worldwide. Nine southern African countries have infection rates above 10%. Ten African countries with the largest infected populations account for over 50% of infected adults worldwide. By the end of 2005, an estimated 27.1 million or more Africans had died of AIDS since 1982, including 2 million in 2005. AIDS has surpassed malaria as the leading cause of death in Africa, and it kills many times more Africans than war. In Africa, about 59% of infected adults are women. Experts attribute the severity of Africa's AIDS epidemic to the region's poverty, women's relative lack of empowerment, high rates of male worker migration, and other factors. Health systems are ill-equipped for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. AIDS' severe social and economic consequences are depriving Africa of skilled workers and teachers, and reducing life expectancy by decades in some countries. There are an estimated 12.3 million African AIDS orphans. They face increased risk of malnutrition and reduced prospects for education. AIDS is blamed for declines in farm production in some countries and is seen as a major contributor to hunger and famine."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33584