UIC AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP) UIC AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP) UIC AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP) UIC School of Public Health



square Total Population = 15,263,000
square Population growth rate: 3.2% (UN, 2011)
square Infant mortality rate: 58 deaths/1,000 live births
square GNI per capita: $810 USD
square Adult literacy rate (age 15 and over can read and write): 74% (UN, 2011)
square Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 47 years
  • male: 44 years
  • female: 51 years
square HIV/AIDS
  • adult prevalence rate: 11% (2009 est.)
  • people living with HIV/AIDS: 924,800 (2008 est.)
  • deaths: 51,500
Located in Southern Africa, just east of Zambia, Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world. The country suffers from one of the worst HIV/AIDS epidemics globally with around one million people infected, more than the total number in Europe and North America combined (Malawi Economic Brief, 2005). AIDS has become the leading cause of death in Malawi for adults 20-49, with about 110,000 new cases occurring annually each year (Malawi National AIDS Commission, 2003). As a result of the AIDS epidemic, earlier gains in life expectancy have been reversed, and life expectancy at birth has fallen from around 45 years in 1990 to around 37 years today (WHO, 2004). The principle mode of HIV transmission is heterosexual contact (85%) followed by mother-to-child transmission (11%). High population mobility, gender inequity, social stigma associated with HIV, food shortages, and poverty form contextual elements figure into the spread of HIV (Kesby, 2000, Sussner and Stein, 2000, Garbus, 2003).

For more information on AIDS in Malawi, visit UNAIDS.

Garbus, L. (2003). HIV/AIDS in Malawi . Country AIDS Policy Analysis Project. AIDS Policy Research Center University of California San Francisco . March 2003.

Kesby, M. (2000). Participatory diagramming as a means to improve communication about sex in rural Zimbabwe : a pilot study. Social Science & Medicine 50, 1723-1741.

Malawi Economic Brief. (2005). Analytical Services Division. Financial and Central Services Department, The Scottish Executive.

Malawi National AIDS Commission. (2008). ANGASS Report.

Malawi Global Fund Coordinating Committee. (2002) The National Response to
Ministry of Health and Population. (1999). Malawi fourth national health plan, 1999-2004. Lilongwe, Malawi: Author. Mooneyhan, E.L., McElmurry, B.J., Sofranko, M.S., & Campos, A.B.

Muula AS , Mfutso-Bengo JM, Makoza J, Chatipwa E (2003) The ethics of developed nations recruiting nurses from developing countries: The case of Malawi , Nurse Ethics , 10: 433-8.

Population and Housing Census  (2008)Preliminary Results National Statistical Office Malawi.

Susser, I. & Stein, Z. (2000). Culture, sexuality, and women's agency in the prevention of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa . American Journal of Public Health , 90, 1042-1048.

United Nations (2011).Table 1c: Population growth and distribution. Accessed on March 28, 2012. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/socind/

United Nation (2011). Table 4a: Literacy. Access on March 28, 2012. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/socind/

World Bank. (2008). World Health Statistics http://www.worldbank.org/data/countrydata/countrydata.html

World Health Organization (2010). Global health observation data repository. Country statistics-Malawi. http://apps.who.int/ghodata/?vid=12800&theme=country

UNAIDS and World Health Organization. (2004) Malawi: Epidemiological fact sheet on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.

 Last Updated: March, 2012