Progress in halting the spread of major communicable diseases has been mixed. An estimated 33.4 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2008; there were 2.7 million new infections and about 2 million AIDS-related deaths. The rapidly rising trends of HIV spread and related deaths that were recorded in the 1990s have since been halted in the 2000s, showing some signs of decline in recent years. However, further actions are still necessary to achieve significant reversals.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV worldwide, accounting for over two thirds (67%) of all people living with HIV and for nearly three quarters (72%) of AIDS-related deaths in 2008. HIV prevalence has declined in recent years in Sub-Saharan Africa, but has risen in other regions, if from much lower levels.