International Development written question – answered at on 6 December 2004.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron Conservative, Witney

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what research his Department has carried out into the average life expectancy of someone who has been diagnosed with AIDS in (a) Sub-Saharan Africa, (b) other developing countries and (c) Western Europe; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gareth Thomas:

DFID, like many in the international system, uses data from a variety of sources, including UNAIDS, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations who are tasked with monitoring and reporting on the AIDS epidemic.

The latest UN Human Development Report estimates that life expectancy in many sub-Saharan African countries has fallen to under 33 years, primarily due to the AIDS epidemic. WHO report that overall life expectancy has dropped precipitously over the last 10 years—for females from 51.1 to 46.3 and males 47.3 to 44.8 years. WHO report that life expectancy in Africa has been cut by five to 10 years due to the AIDS epidemic, this is reduced even further by 15 to 20 years in Southern Africa. The Global Health Council report that in Thailand, Cambodia and Burma two to five years of life expectancy has been lost due to AIDS. UNAIDS report that life expectancy at birth in 2010 is projected to be 10 years less in Haiti and in Trinidad and Tobago nine years less than it would have been without AIDS.

Once someone is infected with the HIV virus their possible progression to AIDS or death will be affected by many factors. With access to treatment, not only ART but also basic health care people can live longer, potentially for more than 20 years. However for people with HIV with no access to clean water, or who are malnourished or who have little or no access to basic health services for treatment of opportunistic infections such as TB, life expectancy can drop substantially.

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