Illustrating Global Health 2: HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis by Region

The second causes of death I’ve had a good look at HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), by region. TB and HIV are the two leading causes of death due to infectious disease worldwide, each causing an estimated 2.3% of all deaths in 2010. A further 0.5% were caused by TB infections afflicting HIV+ people, giving a combined death toll of 2.9 million people.

Sub-Saharan Africa and the high income countries are as you might expect, but Eastern Europe is potentially somewhere a lot of westerners aren’t aware of the magnitude of the issue. As you see below, HIV/AIDS accounts for around one fifth of all deaths of Eastern Europeans in their thirties.

Eastern Europe

Here we see Southeast Asia, where the combined burden of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis is similar to Eastern Europe, but tuberculosis is playing a much more significant role, causing more deaths than HIV/AIDS.

SE Asia

It’s a real shame that you can’t (or at least, I can’t) lock the Y axis on these graphs to a preset point for easier comparison. Just be aware of that as you look at these – the differences are actually even larger than they appear.

SubSaharan Africa

In Sub-Saharan Africa on the other hand, HIV/AIDS and TB together cause half of all deaths in people in their thirties. However, the apparently minor role of TB here is explained by the fact that almost half of the TB deaths in Africa occur in people who are HIV+, and hence they’re counted as deaths from HIV. The following graph shows TB deaths separated by HIV status, dark yellow for HIV- and lighter yellow for HIV+.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 6.23.42 PM

Finally, in stark comparison, we have the high income countries.

High Income

Once again, all of these graphs are source from the Global Burden of Diseases section of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation website.

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