ZAMBIA is ranked 9th by the CIA’s World Factbook’s demographics of people living with HIV/AIDS last updated on January 1.
However, the CIA rankings of April, 2017 had Zambia on 7th position with an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 12.37 per cent.
The CIA as captured by Index Mundi states that HIV/AIDS has far-reaching effects on the economic, cultural and social spheres of society.
In the CIA rankings, South Africa tops the global chart with 7,100,000 people reportedly living with HIV/AIDS, followed by Nigeria 3,200,000,
India 2,100,000, Mozambique 1,800,000, Kenya 1,600,000, Tanzania 1,400,000, Uganda 1,400,000, Zimbabwe 1,300,000 and Zambia with 1,200,000 people living with HIV/AIDS.
On 10th position, the CIA has Malawi, followed by Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Thailand, DRC, Botswana, Lesotho and Ghana on 11-20th positions respectively.
The CIA World Factbook added that HIV/AIDS had increased mortality rates among the infected persons leading to a decline in the economic productivity of these individuals.
“High HIV/AIDS prevalence increases the levels of poverty as much of the finances are spent on medication for opportunistic ailment associated with the disease,” the CIA stated. In April last year, the CIA stated that South Africa had the fourth highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate with 18.92 per cent of the population living with HIV/AIDS.
“Lack of education, misguided beliefs about the disease, and sexual violence has contributed to these high rates. Women under the age of 40 are mainly infected, as well as pregnant women. The black population within South Africa has been disproportionately affected,” the CIA revealed.
However, the CIA added that countries with the highest rates of HIV infection have taken several measures towards reducing the rate of infection among the population.
“Some of these steps include mass education about HIV/AIDS, the introduction of antiretroviral therapy to infected persons, the introduction of gender equality policies to reduce gender inequality and encouraging infected women to take the necessary precautions to prevent mother-to-child transmission,” the CIA stated. Apart from South Africa, other countries with high rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence in its 2017 report included Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, Kenya, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Bahamas, Nigeria, Rwanda, Congo, South Sudan, Chad, and Angola.