"Sub-Saharan Africa has been far more severely affected by AIDS [Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome] than any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that 28.1 million adults and children are infected with the HIV [Human Immunodeficiency Virus] virus in the region, which has about 10% of the world's population but more than 70% of the worldwide total of infected people. The overall rate of infection among adults in sub-Saharan Africa is about 8.4%, compared with a 1.2% infection rate worldwide. Sixteen countries, mostly in eastern and southern Africa, have HIV infection rates of more than 10%, and the rate has reached 35.8% in Botswana. An estimated 19.3 million Africans have lost their lives to AIDS, including 2.3 million who died in 2001. AIDS has surpassed malaria as the leading cause of death in Africa, and it kills many times more Africans than war. In Africa, HIV is spread primarily by heterosexual contact, and sub- Saharan Africa is the only region where women are infected at a higher rate than men. [...] U.S. concern over AIDS in Africa grew during the 1980s, as the severity of the epidemic became apparent. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States has been the global leader in the international response to AIDS since 1986. Legislation enacted during the 106th Congress increased HIV/AIDS funding worldwide and supported several Africa AIDS initiatives. On May 11, 2001, President Bush pledged $200 million to a new global AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis fund. Bills before Congress would fund substantial increases in HIV/AIDS programs."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10050
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