Why Population Matters to Infectious Diseases and HIV/AIDS

Links between Population Infectious Diseases and HIV/AIDS

Fertility, migration and urbanization affect the spread of diseases including tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Increased population densities and unhealthy living conditions in urban slums can ease the transmission of infections. Migration may also increase vulnerability to disease.

Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS have had a large impact on demographic trends, altering the age structures of heavily affected countries. Currently, 33 million people are infected with HIV, more than half of whom are women and girls. Nearly
2 million people die each year globally from AIDS-related causes. Access to family planning services has the ability to reduce the spread of disease, especially when integrated with existing HIV prevention programs.

Comprehensive prevention policies, programs and services are the most cost-effective ways of reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Those who seek reproductive health services and those who seek HIV services share many common needs
and concerns. Therefore, integrating these services has the potential to increase access to health services and improve health outcomes. Integrated programs that increase women’s access to contraceptives result in healthier families and reduced health
care expenditures to treat malaria, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.Beyond access to health care, HIV and infectious disease prevention programs must also address the gender inequalities that increase the likelihood of infection among women.