HIV/AIDS Fast Facts

(CNN)Here's a look at the origins, treatments and global response to HIV and AIDS.


HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
    HIV/AIDS is spread through sexual contact with an infected person, sharing needles with an infected person, through transfusions of infected blood or through an infected mother.
    People infected with HIV go through three stages of infection:
    1. Acute infection, or acute retroviral syndrome, which can produce flu-like symptoms in the first month after infection.
    2. Clinical latency, or asymptomatic HIV infection, in which HIV reproduces at lower levels.
    3. AIDS, in which the amount of CD4 cells fall below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (as opposed to the normal level of 500-1,500).
    HIV-1 and HIV-2 can both cause AIDS. HIV-1 is the most common human immunodeficiency virus; HIV-2 is found mostly in western Africa.
    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) involves taking a cocktail of HIV medications used to treat the virus. In 1987, Azidothymidine (AZT) became the first FDA-approved drug used to attempt to treat HIV/AIDS.

    Statistics 2019 Update

    from UNAIDS:
    37.9 million - Number of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 2018.
    8.1 million - Approximate number of people living with HIV globally that are unaware of their HIV-positive status in 2018.
    160,000 - Newly infected children worldwide in 2018.
    1.7 million - New infections worldwide in 2018.
    770,000 - Approximate number of AIDS-related deaths worldwide in 2018.
    Sub-Saharan Africa is comprised of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


    1981 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish the first reports of men in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco who were previously healthy and are suffering from rare forms of cancer and pneumonia, accompanied by "opportunistic infections."
    1983 - French and American researchers determine that AIDS is caused by HIV.
    1985 - Blood tests to detect HIV are developed.