AIDS DEATH BY NUMBERS; Why HIV Is a Greater Threat 20 Years On

The Mirror (London, England), December 2, 2004 | Go to article overview

AIDS DEATH BY NUMBERS; Why HIV Is a Greater Threat 20 Years On


Byline: DAMIEN FLETCHER

AIDS was the terrifying new killer of the 1980s that replaced the easy-going 1970s with a decade of fear.

Wrongly identified as a killer just of gay men, it became clear everyone was at risk. Governments responded with a hard-hitting safe sex campaign, spent millions on research - and the feared epidemic failed to materialise.

But two decades later, the Aids timebomb has exploded across Africa and it is now the fastest-growing serious medical condition in Britain.

More than three million people have died from the syndrome in the past year, according to United Nations figures.

Mark Graver of Aids charity the Terrence Higgins Trust says: "It can affect anybody. Many people, especially teenagers, still do not practise safe sex which dramatically increases their risk of contracting HIV."

Here we show the statistics that prove the war against Aids is far from won.

1959THE first proven Aids death occurs in Kinshasa in the Congo, where two doctors take blood samples from a man who has died of an unidentified illness. Twenty-five years later it tested positive for HIV and is the oldest specimen of the virus in existence.

300,000 THE maximum number of people thought to have contracted HIV worldwide in the Seventies before the virus was identified.

1982 THE year in which Terrence Higgins - the first person who is known to have died from an Aids-related illness in the UK - passed away. The Terrence Higgins Trust was set up to honour his his memory.

1983 THE year HIV was finally isolated and identified.

1995 AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25 to 44.

53,000 NUMBER of adults known to have been infected in the UK.

1,170 NUMBER of children aged under 14 infected in the UK.

53%PERCENTAGE of HIV-positive adults worldwide who are men.

70%THE percentage of HIV-positive adults in the UK who are men.

47%PERCENTAGE of HIV-positive adults worldwide who are women.

30%THE percentage of HIV positive adults in the UK who are women.

46%NUMBER of people living with HIV in the UK who are gay.

26%PERCENTAGE of UK men diagnosed HIV-positive in the last year who are gay.

27%THE number of HIV-positive people in the UK who are unaware they are carrying the virus

15,700 ESTIMATED number of Aids-related deaths in the UK since 1980. …

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