AIDS/HIV Fast Facts

CNN/ Newswire | 3/24/2014, 3:53 p.m.
Here's a look at what you need to know about AIDS and HIV globally, with a special focus on Africa. ...
Creation Date: 1984 Scanning electron micrograph of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), grown in cultured lymphocytes. Virions are seen as small spheres on the surface of the cells.

By CNN Library

(CNN) -- Here's a look at what you need to know about AIDS and HIV globally, with a special focus on Africa.

Facts: AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and is also called acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.

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.

Statistics: 35.3 million - Number of people living with AIDS/HIV worldwide in 2012.

2.3 million - New infections worldwide in 2012.

260,000 - New infections in children worldwide in 2012.

1.6 million - AIDS-related deaths worldwide in 2012.

70.8 percent of the world's people living with HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa; an estimated 1.6 million people were newly infected with HIV/AIDS.

Sub-Saharan Africa is comprised of: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi , Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Republic of South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Historical Timeline: 1981 - CDC publishes 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, and accompanied by "opportunistic infections."

1982 - Disease adopts the name AIDS.

1983 - French and American researchers determine that the HIV virus is caused by AIDS.

1985 - Blood tests to detect HIV are developed.

December 1, 1988 - First World AIDS Day.

1999 - Researchers in the U.S. find evidence that HIV-1 most likely originated in a population of chimpanzees in West Africa. The virus appears to have been transmitted to people who hunted, butchered and consumed the chimpanzees for food.

2011 - The UN announces that the overall number of new HIV infections has decreased by 20 percent in the past decade.

2011 - The use of antiretroviral drugs has increased the life expectancy of those with HIV/AIDS.

June 5, 2011 - The 30th anniversary of the first five reported CDC cases of AIDS.

October 2011 - In his book The Origins of AIDS, Dr. Jacques Pepin traces the emergence and subsequent development of HIV/AIDS to suggest that initial AIDS outbreaks began earlier than previously believed.