Children and young people are especially hard-hit by the epidemic. The under-five mortality rates of seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa have increased by 20-40%, due to HIV/AIDS. The number of excess AIDS-related deaths among South Africans aged 15-34 is projected to peak in 2010-2015, with an estimated 17 times as many deaths as there would have been in the absence of AIDS.
Current HIV prevalence levels only hint at the much greater lifetime probability of becoming infected. In Lesotho, for example, it is estimated that a person who turned 15 in 2000 has a 74% chance of becoming infected with HIV by his or her 50th birthday. Even in Guyana, where adult prevalence is a comparatively low 2.7%, the probability of contracting HIV between the ages of 15 and 50 in 2000-2035 is 19%.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported in June 2000:
Your Idle Computer Cycles are Crucial to FightAIDS@Home Project
HIV is a "sloppy copier". In other words, it makes mistakes every time it replicates. In fact, the virus is estimated to produce roughly a billion mutants in a single infected person every day. This is clearly a moving target. Our goal is to find new protease inhibitors faster than HIV can evolve and change to resist them.
By using a version of AutoDock software adapted to work over the Internet, our group can examine millions of candidate drug designs at the same time, and look at how they fare against known drug-resistant mutants of HIV.