Fighting AIDS today
Liz Hart explains HIV and AIDS, and looks at the treatment available, and the implications of this epidemic
Today, 40 million people worldwide are infected with HIV--a difficult number to understand.1 The prevalence in the United Kingdom is 0.1%; the situation in sub-Saharan Africa is very different. The prevalence in this area is 20% or more. Imagine a place where one in five people walking along the street is infected with HIV, where there are more funerals than weddings, and the families of every person have somehow been touched by HIV.
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to bear the burden of the HIV epidemic, but epidemics are emerging in China and among intravenous drug users in Russia. The impact of HIV in the Indian subcontinent continues to emerge, and without continuous vigilance in public health, the prevalence of HIV in the developed world will rise again.
In 1981, gay men in San Francisco and other US cities began presenting with unusual infections and malignancies, most notably Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and