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Where Is AIDS growing fastest (and shrinking fastest)?

I used some of this information once already but I thought it was interesting so I made another quiz. Name the 15 countries where the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS changed the most between 2001 and 2009. The quiz is divided into countries where HIV grew and those where it decreased. Some answers are surprising.
All data according to http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2011/12/world/map.world.aids.data/index.html
hint: of the countries where HIV/AIDS is growing fastest, most are developing countries, and 10/15 have large Muslim populations.
hint 2: of the countries where HIV/AIDS is shrinking fastest, only 3 are not in Africa or the Americas.
Quiz by kalbahamut
First submittedJanuary 23, 2013
Last updatedJuly 18, 2014
Times taken287
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% Change
Mongolia and Fiji (tie)
Sudan (and South Sudan)
Equatorial Guinea
% Change
India and Myanmar (tie)
Burkina Faso
Central African Republic
Ivory Coast
level 76
May 5, 2013
India is the most guessed answer here, but I imagine most people guess India based on the misconception that AIDS is rapidly growing there. Actually, relative to the size of the population, it has been shrinking. One of the many surprises in the data.
level 76
Feb 16, 2015
India didn't surprise me at all. There's still many things wrong with the country, but it is developing rapidly and fairly democratically.
level 76
Jun 11, 2013
Nobody ever commented on this quiz. I guess people didn't find it as interesting as I did. I'm just going to talk to myself then..

It's interesting to me that so many on the right side (with big decreases) are in Latin America. I think this shows the success of the very aggressive safe sex campaigns that were implemented there from 2001-2009 everywhere from Brazil to Mexico. Big drops all over. A few Sub-Saharan African countries make the list, I presume, because by 2001 they had already pretty much hit rock bottom. Places like Zimbabwe where a full quarter of the population was infected, there wasn't much place to go except up. Plus they have inadequate health care there so a lot of people who had AIDS in 2001 were dead by 2009. India registers -4%, because even though there is a rapidly growing population of HIV+ people in India, it's not growing as fast as the population in general.
level 76
Jun 11, 2013
On the huge increase side, we see mostly Muslim countries and other conservative enclaves that were mostly isolated from the AIDS epidemic before 2001 because they were relatively cut-off from South Africa, Europe, and North America. Places like the Philippines had close to 0 cases in 2001, so any increase at all is going to show up as a huge percentage increase. Many of these countries are poor and have rampant prostitution (in spite of their conservative leanings), meaning that once the disease found inroads it spread comparatively quickly.

The one puzzling thing to me is IndoChina... on the one hand there is Thailand and Cambodia which showed massive drops, on the other there is Laos with a massive increase. Not sure how to explain that.
level 76
Jul 29, 2013
Crap I missed several..

Gambia +319%
Cuba +173%
Bhutan +400%
Eritrea -4%

How'd I miss so many the first time? I'll have to fix this at some point...
level 66
Aug 16, 2013
Just found and did the quiz. You're not talking to yourself anymore. :) The data was interesting for me too. You mentioned some of the most interesting stats. For me is quite shocking the increase in Austria and Belarus. Especially Austria... Otherwise for me there are more factors for the majority of the Islam countries on the increasing list: the families in these countries are bigger. Theoretically a HIV-positive mother will give birth to more HIV-positive children than in countries with other religion. And something connected - in these countries (I assume) it's not (so) openly spoken about sex and STDs. This will mean that the percentage of people which are tested for these diseases is smaller than in other countries. Hence -> the first factor I mentioned. All these are my speculations, I haven't searched for supporting scientific data. But at least for me they seem reasonable. It would be interesting for me to read your opinion. :)
level 76
Aug 16, 2013
yeah you're right about the Muslim countries. I split most of my time between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and there is just such a huge stigma about HIV there that I'm sure most people who are infected probably go out of their way to avoid knowing about it. They could lose their jobs and it would cause a lot of other problems for them, too. I'm not sure if that means that it gets spread more and so rates of infection increase faster, or it might mean that it goes under-reported and it's actually worse than we know about.
level 53
Jul 17, 2018
It's now 2018 and Saudi is changing.
level 76
Jul 17, 2018
There's no longer a stigma about having AIDS there?
level 32
Dec 10, 2013
Oh my god. I'm laughing so hard.
level 76
Dec 10, 2013
level 75
Jul 17, 2014
Yeah, HIV/AIDS is really funny, isn't it?
level 68
Mar 29, 2016
It's been 22.3 years, AIDS is funny now
level 75
Jul 17, 2014
Could you accept CAR for Central African Republic?
level 76
Jul 18, 2014
level 59
Jul 2, 2015
Wait what is Hiv? Hopefully I can get a good score on this, because I was guessing random countries! :)
level 76
Jul 3, 2015
Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus that causes the condition knows as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).