5 Things to Know About HIV/AIDS Around the World

Where We Stand

In 2017, approximately 37 million people around the world were living with HIV, a small increase from the previous year, according to data from UNAIDS, the U.N. agency advocating for a coordinated global response to treating HIV and AIDS.

Despite the number of people living with the HIV steadily climbing over time, the global health community has made significant strides in treating and managing the virus and AIDS: In 2017, 21.7 million people accessed antiretroviral therapy, a number that has skyrocketed since 2000, when just 611,000 people were receiving the therapy.

Deaths from HIV and AIDS have also plunged since its peak in 2004, when nearly 2 million people died from the disease. In 2017, 940,000 people died from an AIDS-related cause.

Here’s five things to know about HIV/AIDS today.

All data is from 2017 and comes from UNAIDS.

New HIV Infections Are Down

In 2017, there were 1.8 million new HIV infections, a number that has been steadily declining since its peak in 1996, when there were 3.4 million new infections.

Gay Men and Drug Users Remain at Highest Risk

The risk of contracting HIV is 27 times higher among men who have sex with men, and 23 times higher among people who inject drugs.

Tuberculosis Remains the Leading Cause of Death

Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death for people with HIV, accounting for about 33 percent of deaths.

People living with HIV who do not have TB symptoms need preventative therapy, which lessens the risk of developing TB and reduces death rates by around 40 percent. However, an estimated 49 percent of people with HIV and TB aren’t aware of their conditions, and therefore aren’t accessing therapy.

Rates Are High for Young Women

Each week, around 7,000 women aged 15 to 24 are infected with HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa, three in four new infections among teenagers aged 15 to 19 are in girls.

Knowing Their Status

In 2017, about 75 percent of people with HIV knew their status. Among those who knew, 4 in 5 were accessing treatment.

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5 Things to Know About HIV/AIDS Around the World originally appeared on usnews.com