- In 2019, 38 million people were living with HIV.
- In 2019, 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV. This represents a decline in annual new infections of 23% since 2010, a pace far too slow to reach the United Nations’ Fast-Track Target of fewer than 500,000 new infections per year by 2020.
- The global HIV response was already falling behind when the COVID-19 pandemic began—COVID-related impacts have further slowed progress worldwide. The 2020 targets are not projected to be met.
- In some regions of the world, new HIV infections are increasing. Since 2010, there has been a 72% increase in new infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a 22% increase in the Middle East and North Africa, and a 21% increase in Latin America.
- Annual deaths from AIDS-related causes have declined by 39% since 2010, from 1.2 million in 2010 to 690,000 in 2019.
- At the end of June 2020, 26 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral therapy, up from 17.2 million in 2015 and 7.7 million in 2010.
- Of all people living with HIV in 2019, 81% knew their status, 67% were accessing treatment, and 59% were virally suppressed.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, 75.7 million people have become infected with HIV and 32.7 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses.
HIV in Key Populations
- Approximately 62% of new HIV infections globally in 2019 were among key populations (men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, and transgender people) and their sexual partners.
- In Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, key populations and their sexual partners accounted for at least 97% of new HIV infections.
- Compared to the general population, the risk of acquiring HIV is 26 times higher among men who have sex with men, 29 times higher among people who inject drugs, 30 times higher for sex workers, and 13 times higher for transgender people.
HIV in Children
- In 2019, there were 1.8 million children below the age of 15 living with HIV.
- New HIV infections among children under the age of 15 decreased from 310,000 in 2010 to 150,000 in 2019. This pace is far too slow to achieve the global target of reducing new HIV infections among children to fewer than 20,000 by 2020.
- About 950,000 children aged 0–14 years were accessing treatment in 2019, more than twice as many as in 2010 but far short of the target.
- In 2019, while 68% of adults aged 15 and older living with HIV had access to treatment, just 53% of children had access.
- There were 95,000 AIDS-related deaths among children below the age of 15 in 2019.
HIV in Women
- In 2019, an estimated 19.2 million women were living with HIV, constituting more than half of all adults aged 15 and over living with HIV.
- About 48% of the estimated 1.7 million new HIV infections in adults globally were among women in 2019.
- More than one in three women globally have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner. In some regions, women who have experienced violence are 50% more likely to acquire HIV than women who have not experienced such violence in their lives.
- In 2019, around 85% of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral medicines to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.
The Regional Picture
Asia and the Pacific
In 2019, an estimated 300,000 people in Asia and the Pacific became newly infected with HIV, bringing the total number of people living with HIV in the region to 5.8 million. AIDS-related illnesses claimed 160,000 lives. Progress has been uneven, with strong gains in some locations but a worsening of the epidemic in others. Annual new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are rising rapidly in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Philippines—which has seen a 207% increase in annual new HIV infections since 2010. Approximately 98% of new infections in the region are among key populations and their sexual partners. Young people aged 15-24 account for more than 25% of new infections.
Eastern and Southern Africa
Since 2010, Eastern and Southern Africa has seen a 38% decline in new HIV infections and a 49% decrease in AIDS-related deaths. However, progress is fragile, and it varies considerably within the region. Retention in care for people living with HIV is an increasing challenge. In 2019, there were 20.7 million people living with HIV in East and Southern Africa—more than half of all people living with HIV in the world—and an estimated 730,000 new infections. Women and girls account for more than 60% of people living with HIV in the region. In 2019, about 300,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses.
Western and Central Africa
In 2019, there were 4.9 million people living with HIV in Western and Central Africa. Women accounted for 62% of adults 15 years of age and older living with HIV, reflecting continued gender disparities in the region. Adolescent girls and young women remain at higher risk and account for 20% of new infections in the region. In 2019, the region saw an estimated 240,000 new HIV infections and 140,000 AIDS-related deaths. Only 58% of pregnant women living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy—and in 2019, 42% of child infections occurred because HIV-positive expectant mothers did not receive treatment during pregnancy.
Middle East and North Africa
Between 2010 and 2019, the Middle East and North Africa experienced a 22% increase in new HIV infections. There were notable exceptions in some countries such as Iran, Morocco and Somalia, which saw significant progress in reducing new infections. In 2019, about 52% of the estimated 240,000 people living with HIV in the region knew their status, and only 38% of people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy—the lowest treatment coverage of any region in the world. In the Middle East and North Africa region the epidemic is highly concentrated among key populations and their sexual partners. In 2019, people who inject drugs accounted for 43% of new infections and men who have sex with men another 23%.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Eastern Europe and Central Asia has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. Between 2010 and 2019, new HIV infections increased 72%—most occurring in the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Key populations are disproportionately affected and lack access to HIV services. There continue to be high rates of new HIV infections among people who inject drugs, who now represent 48% of people living with HIV in the region. In 2019, an estimated 170,000 people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia became newly infected, bringing the number of people living with HIV in the region to 1.7 million. AIDS-related illnesses claimed 35,000 lives.
Western and Central Europe and North America
The Western and Central Europe and North America region is approaching the 90–90–90 targets. However, overall success obscures challenges. For example, in Western and Central Europe undocumented migrants lack access to critical treatment and prevention services. And, in North America, black and Latino people are disproportionately impacted by HIV. In 2019, key populations and their sexual partners accounted for 96% of HIV infections. There were 2.2 million people living with HIV and an estimated 65,000 new HIV infections. AIDS-related illnesses claimed 12,000 lives.
In 2019, there were 120,000 new HIV infections in Latin America, an increase of 21% since 2010. There were 2.1 million people living with HIV and 37,000 AIDS-related deaths—a decrease of 8% since 2010. There has been progress towards the 90–90–90 targets, but inconsistent access to health services and lack of government investment in health care systems are slowing the regional response. Stigma and discrimination continue to impede progress in Latin America, where nearly a quarter of people living with HIV do not know their status, and 40% are not accessing antiretroviral therapy.
In the Caribbean, new infections have decreased by 29% and AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 37% since 2010. Key populations and their sexual partners account for 60% of new infections. Much progress has been made toward the elimination of mother-to-child transmission in the region. More than 90% of pregnant women living with HIV knew their status in five of the nine countries that reported data in 2019. But UNAIDS warns that progress in testing and treatment has slowed, and rollout of comprehensive prevention interventions is incomplete in the region.
UNAIDS. Fact Sheet—Global AIDS Update 2020. Published December 2020. Accessed May 2021.
UNAIDS. Prevailing Against Pandemics: By Putting People at the Centre. Published November 2020. Accessed May 2021.
UNAIDS. Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free. Published July 2020. Accessed May 2021.
UNAIDS. AIDSinfo. Updated July 2020. Accessed May 2021.
(Last updated May 2021)