The number of people living with the HIV infection in the African continent is 5 times higher than in any other continent. And the African countries below are the ones leading.
Aids in Africa Statistics: Top 10 African Countries With the Highest Number of People Living with HIV/AIDS
1. South Africa – 7.2 Million
South Africa has the biggest and most high-profile HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimated 7.2 million people living with HIV in 2021.
The country accounts for a third of all new HIV infections in southern Africa.
In 2017, there were 270,000 new HIV infections and 110,000 South Africans died from AIDS-related illnesses.
But the good news is, South Africa has made huge improvements in getting people to test for HIV in recent years and is now almost meeting the first of the 90-90-90 targets, with 86% of people aware of their status.
The country also has the largest ART programme in the world, which has undergone even more expansion in recent years with the implementation of ‘test and treat’ guidelines.
2. Nigeria – 3.2 Million
Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and the second largest HIV epidemic in Africa, the nation also has one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
Although HIV prevalence among adults is much less (2.8%) than other sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (18.8%) and Zambia (11.5%), the size of Nigeria’s population means 3.1 million people were living with HIV in 2021.
It is estimated that around two-thirds of new HIV infections in West and Central Africa in 2017 occurred in Nigeria. Together with South Africa and Uganda , the country accounts for around half of all new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa every year. This is despite achieving a 5% reduction in new infections between 2010 and 2017.
3. Kenya – 1.6 Million
Kenya has the third highest HIV epidemic in Africa, with an adult prevalence rate of 5.40%.
Kenya has about 840,000 children (aged 0 to 17) orphaned as a result of the virus; 1.6 million people living with HIV and about 36,000 HIV related deaths.
4. Mozambique – 1.8 Million
According to a recent report by UNAID, 1.8 million people are currently living with the virus in Mozambique. Which means the country has the 8th highest HIV rate in the world, and the fourth highest in Africa.
According to UNICEF and CDC data, there is a 11.5 percent rate of HIV infection within adults aged 15 to 49, an estimated total of 34,000 AIDS related deaths in individuals 15 years or older, and approximately 802,659 adults living with HIV on ART.
5. Tanzania – 1.4 million
Tanzania has an estimated 1,400,000 people living with HIV, and an adult prevalence rate of 4.7%.
The news isn’t all bad though as significant progress in response to HIV has been achieved in the last decade.
6. Uganda – 1.4 Million
In 2017, an estimated 1.4 million people were living with HIV, and an estimated 26,000 Ugandans died of AIDS-related illnesses.
The epidemic is firmly established in the general population. As of 2021, the estimated HIV prevalence among adults (aged 15 to 49) stood at 5.9%. Women are disproportionately affected, with 8.8% of adult women living with HIV compared to 14.3% of men.
Other groups particularly affected by HIV in Uganda are sex workers, young girls and adolescent women, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and people from Uganda’s transient fishing communities.
7. Zimbabwe – 1.3 Million
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV prevalences in sub-Saharan Africa at 13.3%, with 1.3 million people living with HIV in 2021.
The HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe is generalised and is largely driven by unprotected heterosexual sex.
Women are disproportionately affected, particularly adolescent girls and young women. However, there are growing epidemics among key populations such as sex workers and men who have sex with men who are at higher risk of HIV. National data on these populations is sparse as only a minimal amount of data is collected and reported in national documents.
There is good news though, in 2017, new infections dropped to 41,000 from 79,000 in 2010, with behaviour change communication, high treatment coverage and prevention of mother-to-child transmission services thought to be responsible for this decline.
Deaths from AIDS-related illnesses has also fallen and continues to fall – from 61,000 in 2013 to 22,000 in 2017.
8. Zambia – 1.2 Million
In 2017, around 41,000 adults and 7,300 children became newly infected with HIV in Zambia.
Although New infections are decreasing, especially in children – in 2010, 60,000 adults and 13,000 children acquired HIV. Overall, this equates to a 24% reduction in new infections since 2010.
In the same year around 1.1 million people in Zambia were living with HIV and 16,000 people died from an AIDS-related illnesses. Also, in 2017, 83% of people living with HIV newly enrolled in care had active tuberculosis
9. Malawi – 1 Million
Malawi’s HIV prevalence is one of the highest in the world, with 9.2% of the adult population (aged 15-49) living with HIV. An estimated one million Malawians were living with HIV in 2016 and 24,000 Malawians died from AIDS-related illnesses in the same year.
The Malawian HIV epidemic plays a critical role in the country’s low life expectancy of just 57 years for men and 60 for women.
Over the last decade though, impressive efforts to reduce the HIV epidemic have been made at both national and local levels. In 2016, 70% of people living with HIV in Malawi were aware of their status, of which 89% were on treatment, of which 89% were virally suppressed. This equates to 66% of all people living with HIV in Malawi on treatment and 59% of all people living with HIV being virally suppressed.
Also, new infections have dramatically declined from 98,000 in 2005, to 36,000 in 2016
10. Cameroon – 560,000
In the category of the high prevalence HIV African countries, Cameroon is probably one of the least cases with about 560,000 infected people and a 3.8% adult prevalence rate.
In 2016, Cameroon had 32,000 new HIV infections and 29, 000 AIDS-related deaths. Currently out of the 560, 000 people living with HIV, about 37%-43% of them have access to antiretroviral therapy.