Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has been around for more than three decades, and based on data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in that time, the disease has infected approximately 65 million persons and claimed the lives of about 29 million. Currently, there are an estimated 35.3 million persons living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. While the epidemic has been extending its reach globally, researchers have been making inroads in the assessment and analysis of the social, economic, and behavioral factors that propel the epidemic. Poverty has been identified as a significant factor in some regions. Research has suggested that poverty may increase vulnerability to risky behavior, which in turn may increase the likelihood of contracting HIV.

The highest HIV rates exist in ...

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