Of all the regions of the world impacted by HIV/AIDS, none has been more devastated by this crisis than Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the area of the African continent that lies south of the Sahara desert. Of the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the world, 22 million are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, of the 15 million orphans who lost their parents to AIDS, 11.5 million live in that region. In 2007, 1.5 million persons died from AIDS-related causes. During that same year, 68% of the global 2.7 million new HIV infections occurred in that region.

Some of the countries hardest in sub-Saharan Africa include South Africa
(5.7 million), Nigeria (2.6 million), Kenya (1.5-2.0 million), Mozambique (1.5 million), and Zimbabwe (1.3 million).

In looking at the primary methods of HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, heterosexual intercourse remains the predominant method. In light of this fact, this region has also become home to the world's largest population of children living with HIV. Furthermore, in Demographic and Health Surveys in five African countries,
2/3 of the HIV-infected couples were found to be serodiscordant, meaning only one partner was infected. However, condom use was found to be rare in these couples. In fact, in Burkina Faso, one of the countries surveyed, 90% of the cohabiting couples said they DID NOT use condoms the last time they had sex.

Another mode of transmission that is an important factor is sex work, specifically in West Africa.
35% of female sex workers surveyed in 2006 in Mali were living with HIV. In Senegal and Burkina Faso, levels of infection exceeding 20% were documented among sex workers.

Staggering statistics like the above highlight the need for education and resources in this region. There are several organizations working to improve conditions in sub-Saharan Africa in regards to HIV/AIDS. With 22 million people living there with the disease, there is still plenty that can be done. Unfortunately, there will consistently be a need for funding, medication, counseling and education, and proper nutrition until we are able to get this pandemic under control.