"Sub-Saharan Africa has been more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that 25.4 million adults and children are infected with the HIV virus in the region, which has about 10% of the world's population but nearly 64% of the worldwide total of infected people. The overall rate of infection among adults in sub-Saharan Africa is 7.4%, compared with 1.1% worldwide. Ten countries in southern Africa have infection rates above 10% and account for 30% of infected adults worldwide. By the end of 2004, an estimated 25.3 million Africans will have died of AIDS, including a 2004 estimate of 2.3 million deaths. AIDS has surpassed malaria as the leading cause of death in Africa, and it kills many times more Africans than war. In Africa, 57% of those infected are women. Experts relate the severity of the African AIDS epidemic to the region's poverty, the relative lack of empowerment among women, high numbers of men living as migrant workers, and other factors. Health systems are ill-equipped for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10050
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/