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The AIDS Pandemic in the 21st Century

Written by:
Report Number WP/02-2


At the beginning of the 21st century, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) continues to have its greatest impact in the developing world. Although the full demographic impact is not expected to be felt for several more years, and perhaps will not be completely measured at the pandemic's epicenter in Sub-Saharan Africa, the emerging downward trends in life expectancy and population growth, the distortions in age structures, and the breakdowns in support systems are already being seen in some countries.  At the extreme in Southern Africa, Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe are thought to be experiencing negative population growth due to AIDS mortality.  At the beginning of the 21st century, AIDS is the number four cause of death globally but the number one cause of death in Africa.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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