Will AIDS lead to a population decline in sub-Saharan Africa ?

Population and Societies

385, December 2002

  • Population projections greatly revised in 1992...
  • ... readjusted again a few years later
  • The rapid growth of the epidemic was underestimated for a long time
  • Senegal and Uganda set the example
  • Demographics affected for a long time to come


With close to one adult in ten infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), compared with one in a hundred worldwide, sub-Saharan Africa is by far the region most affected by AIDS. What are the demographic consequences, especially concerning mortality and the number of inhabitants? The epidemic varies greatly from one African country to the next, Southern African countries being affected to the greatest degree: is the reason for this known?

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