STIs/HIV/AIDS Facts & Stats

  • In 2011, an estimated 23.5 million people living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa, representing 69% of the global HIV burden; 92% of pregnant women living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa
  • HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa declined overall from 1990 to 2012. HIV incidence peaked in 1996 in sub-Saharan Africa at 12.4 new infections per 1,000 people per year on average per country, with the highest recorded incidence in Zimbabwe at 58.4 new infections per 1,000 people in 1993. The lowest recorded HIV incidence was experienced in three different nations: Eritrea 2006–2008, Liberia 2008–2012, and Niger 2008–2012; all had recorded HIV incidence estimates of 0.01 new infections per 1,000 people per year. A 2007 systematic review examined the HIV prevalence among refugee populations compared to host communities and found no significant increase among seven nations that experienced prolonged armed conflict. While several of the refugee camps experienced a decrease in HIV prevalence, when comparing the host country to the refugee camp, Burundian camps in Tanzania and Eritrean camps in Sudan reported either an increase or unchanged HIV prevalence. However, these studies failed to compare groups of people with similar baseline HIV prevalence rates; therefore, one cannot concretely say whether HIV infections increased or decreased in these refugee camps compared to non-refugee populations.
    • Reference: Bennett, B. W., Marshall, B. D. L., Gjelsvik, A., McGarvey, S. T., & Lurie, M. N. (2015). HIV Incidence Prior to, during, and after Violent Conflict in 36 Sub-Saharan African Nations, 1990-2012: An Ecological Study. PLoS ONE, 10(11), e0142343.
  • Women who have experienced intimate partner violence are 50% more likely to be living with HIV.
  • Globally, women comprise 52% of all people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the center of the global epidemic, women still account for approximately 57% of all people living with HIV.
  • Political conflicts and war are commonplace in Africa and affect the risk of HIV/AIDS by interrupting normal social networks, increasing poverty and social instability, and weakening or destroying medical infrastructure. Women are disproportionately infected compared to their male counterparts.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide.*
  • More than 290 million women have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.*
  • The majority of people with an STI have no symptoms or only mild symptoms that may not be recognized as an STI.*
  • Over 900 000 pregnant women were infected with syphilis resulting in approximately 350,000 adverse birth outcomes including stillbirth in 2012.*
  • The syndromic approach is the recommended method to diagnose and treat STIs.*
  • Confidential contact tracing is an essential component of STI case management.*
  • The impact of cervical cancer can be decreased by effective and adapted screening/treatment methods and immunization.*

*Adapted from the WHO


  • Hundreds of millions of people are affected by emergencies (conflict and natural disasters) worldwide. A large proportion of PLHIV are affected by emergencies, which often cause major disruptions to existing HIV programmes. In 2013, 1 in 19 people living with HIV were affected by humanitarian emergencies – 1.7 million people.