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HIV and AIDS in East and Southern Africa

HIV and AIDS in Africa continue to be long-term development challenges. East Africa and southern Africa are the regions hardest hit by HIV.

There has been considerable political and financial commitment to fighting the epidemic in this region, with some countries such as South Africa and Kenya seeing dramatic scaling up of prevention, treatment and care services.

However, many countries in this region are still reliant on donor funding to finance their HIV response.

Find out more about HIV and AIDS in West and Central Africa.

Last full review: 
24 April 2017
Next full review: 
24 April 2019

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East and Southern Africa is the region hardest hit by HIV; it is home to over 50% of the total number of people living with HIV in the world.

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Botswana HIV statistics graphic
Botswana has made great progress in reducing HIV prevalence through the provision of universal free antiretroviral treatment.

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HIV and AIDS statistics for Kenya
Kenya has the joint fourth largest HIV epidemic in the world but is a pioneer of voluntary medical male circumcision programmes.

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Lesotho HIV stats 2017
Lesotho has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world at 22.9%, but treatment coverage still remains inadequate.

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2017 UNAIDS report's statistics for Malawi
Over the past decade, new HIV infections have dropped significantly in Malawi. However, young people remain a concern.

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2017 UNAIDS report's statistics for South Africa
Despite having the world's biggest HIV epidemic with 6.3 million people infected, South Africa now fully funds its HIV programmes.

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2017 UNAIDS statistics for Swaziland
Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence in the world (27.4%). This is largely due to cultural beliefs which discourage safe-sex practices.

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2017 UNAIDS statistics for Tanzania
In Tanzania, access to HIV treatment is low because of drug costs, a lack of healthcare workers and high levels of corruption.

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2017 UNAIDS statistics for Uganda
Treatment programmes have been scaled up in Uganda, but access remains low. Punitive laws also act as barriers to HIV services.

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2017 UNAIDS statistics for Zambia
Unprotected heterosexual sex and mother-to-child transmission are the primary modes of HIV infection in Zambia.

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2017 UNAIDS statistics for Zimbabwe
HIV has impacted heavily upon Zimbabwe which has a low average life expectancy and nearly a million children orphaned by AIDS.

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Last updated:
24 April 2017
Last full review:
24 April 2017
Next full review:
24 April 2019