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Estimates of HIV burden in emergencies.

Lowicki-Zucca M, Spiegel PB, Kelly S, Dehne KL, Walker N, Ghys PD

  • Journal Sexually transmitted infections

  • Published 11 Sep 2008

  • Volume 84 Suppl 1

  • ISSUE Suppl_1

  • Pagination i42-i48

  • DOI 10.1136/sti.2008.029843


To quantify the proportion of people living with HIV who are being affected by emergencies.

Emergencies were defined as conflict, natural disaster and/or displacement. Country-specific estimates of populations affected by emergencies were developed based on eight publicly available databases and sources. These estimates were calculated as proportions and then combined with updated country-level HIV estimates for the years 2003, 2005 and 2006 to obtain estimates of the number of men, women and children living with HIV who were also affected by emergencies.

In 2006, 1.8 (range 1.3-2.5) million people living with HIV (PLHIV) were also affected by conflict, disaster or displacement, representing 5.4% (range 4.0-7.6%) of the global number of PLHIV. In the same year, an estimated 930 000 (range 660 000-1.3 million) women and 150 000 (range 110 000-230 000) children under 15 years living with HIV were affected by emergencies. In emergency settings, the estimated numbers of PLHIV in 2003 and 2005 were 2.6 million (range 2.0-3.4 million) and 1.7 million (range 1.4-2.1 million), respectively, representing 7.9% and 5.1% of the global number of PLHIV).

These estimates provide a rationale to ensure that HIV interventions are integrated into rapid assessment of all emergency and preparedness and response plans to prevent HIV infections and address excess suffering, morbidity and mortality among these often overlooked vulnerable groups.