Sub-Saharan Africa ("Africa" hereafter) has been more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. Experts attribute the severity of Africa's AIDS epidemic to the region's poverty, women's relative lack of empowerment, high rates of male worker migration, and other factors. Health systems there are ill-equipped; AIDS' severe social and economic consequences are depriving Africa of skilled workers and teachers, and reducing life expectancy by decades in some countries. This report explains the AIDS crisis and surrounding issues in detail, as well as U.S. and international efforts to provide general and economic aid. Relevant U.S. legislation is also outlined.
Sub-Saharan Africa has been far more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that 24.5 million adults and children are infected with the HIV virus in the region, which has about 11% of the world's population but more than 64% of the worldwide total of infected people. This report discusses this issue in detail, including the cause of the African AIDS epidemic, the social and economic consequences, response and treatment, and U.S. policy.