7 Deadliest Plagues in History

plague hiv
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HIV/AIDS: 27.2-47.8 million (1981-current)

The HIV virus might have first crossed over from chimpanzees to humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo via blood contact somewhere around 1920.

Until 1981, it spread undetected, when a sudden virulent pneumonia and rare cancer known as Kaposi’s sarcoma made casualties among queer men in the United States.

By the end of the year, there were 270 reported cases, out of which 121 had already died. However, it is possible that by 1980, HIV was already on five continents.

It presumably infected between 100,000 and 300,000 people. By 1987, when the WHO launched the Global Program on Aids, an estimated 5–10 million people all over the world were suffering from HIV.

Nowadays, despite the massive advances in treatment methods and management of HIV, it’s still incurable. The number of people infected stands at 38 million, with more than two-thirds of them living in sub-Saharan Africa.

UNAIDS estimated that 36.3 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses. On the bright side, with improved medicines and equitable access to those drugs, annual AIDS-related fatalities have declined by 47% since 2010.

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