- In 2018, 37.9 million people were living with HIV.
- In 2018, 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV. This represents a decline in annual new infections of 16% 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.
- In some regions of the world, new HIV infections are increasing. Since 2010, there has been a 29% increase in new infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a 10% increase in the Middle East and North Africa, and a 7% increase in Latin America.
- Annual deaths from AIDS-related causes have declined by 33% since 2010, from 1.2 million in 2010 to 770,000 in 2018. Reaching the 2020 milestone of fewer than 500 000 deaths will require further declines of about 135,000 per year.
- In 2018, 23.3 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 2018, 79% knew their status, 62% were accessing treatment, and 53% were virally suppressed.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, 74.9 million people have become infected with HIV and 32.0 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses.
HIV in Key Populations
- Approximately 54% of new HIV infections globally in 2018 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 95% of new HIV infections.
- Compared to the general population, the risk of acquiring HIV is 22 times higher among men who have sex with men, 22 times higher among people who inject drugs, 21 times higher for sex workers, and 12 times higher for transgender people.
HIV in Children
- In 2018, there were 1.7 million children below the age of 15 living with HIV.
- New HIV infections among children under the age of 15 decreased from 280,000 in 2010 to 160,000 in 2018. But this is far from the global target of reducing new HIV infections among children to fewer than 40,000 by 2018.
- About 940,000 children aged 0–14 years were accessing treatment in 2018, twice as many as in 2010 but far short of the target of 1.6 million set for 2018.
- In 2018, while 62% of adults aged 15 and older living with HIV had access to treatment, just 54% of children had access.
- In some parts of the world treatment access among children aged 0-14 is even lower. In Western and Central Africa, for example only 28% of children in this age range are on treatment.
- There were 100,000 AIDS-related deaths among children below the age of 15 in 2018.
HIV in Women
- In 2018, an estimated 18.8 million women were living with HIV, constituting 52% of all adults aged 15 and over living with HIV.
- In 2018, more than 46% of the estimated 1.6 million new HIV infections in adults globally were among women.
- In 2018, new infections among young women (aged 15–24 years) were 55% higher than among men in the same age group.
- In 2018, around 82% 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 2018, an estimated 310,000 people in Asia and the Pacific became newly infected with HIV, bringing the total number of people living with HIV in the region to 5.9 million. AIDS-related illnesses claimed 200,000 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 as seen a 203% increase in annual new HIV infections since 2010. At least 75% of new infections in the region are among key populations and their sexual partners. Young people aged 15-24 account for about 25% of new infections.
Eastern and Southern Africa
Since 2010, Eastern and Southern Africa has seen a 28% decline in new HIV infections and a 44% 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 2018, there were 20.6 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 800,000 new infections. Women and girls account for more 61% of people living with HIV in the region. In 2018, about 310,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses. Since 2010, new HIV infections among children have declined by 51%.
Western and Central Africa
In 2018, there were 5 million people living with HIV in Western and Central Africa. Women accounted for 61% of adults 15 years of age and older living with HIV in the region, and outnumbered men living with HIV in all age categories. Sixty-six percent of young people aged 15-24 living with HIV are female. In 2018, the region saw an estimated 280,000 new HIV infections and 160,000 AIDS-related deaths. Only 59% of pregnant women living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy and just 28% of children living with HIV are on treatment.
Middle East and North Africa
Between 2010 and 2018, the Middle East and North Africa experienced a 10% increase in new HIV infections and a 9% increase in the annual number of AIDS-related deaths. There were notable exceptions in some countries such as Iran, Morocco and Somalia, which saw significant progress in reducing new infections. In 2018 fewer than half of the estimated 240,000 people living with HIV in the region knew their status, and only one-third of people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy—the lowest treatment coverage of any region in the world. Just 28% of women living with HIV in the region were accessing antiretroviral treatment. In 2018, key populations and their sexual partners accounted for 95% of new infections.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Eastern Europe and Central Asia has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. Between 2010 and 2018, new HIV infections increased 29%, with the Russian Federation and Ukraine accounting for 84% of all new infections. 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, and the new infection rate has doubled among gay men and other men who have sex with men. In 2018, an estimated 150,000 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 claimed 38,000 lives.
Western and Central Europe and North America
The Western and Central Europe and North America region appears to be on track to meet the 90–90–90 targets. However, prevention efforts have not had sufficient impact. Western and Central Europe as a whole has exceeded the viral load suppression target of 73% of all people living with HIV, but progress varies among countries. Key populations and their sexual partners accounted for 88% of HIV infections in 2018, but comprehensive harm reduction programs in Western and Central Europe have reduced new HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs to an all-time low. In 2018, there were 2.2 million people living with HIV and an estimated 68,000 new HIV infections. In this region, AIDS-related causes claimed 13,000 lives.
In 2018 there were 100,000 new HIV infections in Latin America, an increase of 7% since 2010. There were 1.9 million people living with HIV and 35,000 AIDS-related deaths—a decrease of 14% since 2010. There has been steady progress towards the 90–90–90 targets, but inconsistent access to health services are impeding faster progress. Programs for key populations in some countries remain highly dependent on donor funding that is rapidly decreasing.
Approximately 16,000 people became infected with HIV in the Caribbean in 2018, 16% fewer than in 2010. There has been a 38% decrease in the annual number of AIDS-related deaths since 2010, with 6,700 deaths in 2018. But UNAIDS warns that with a decrease in external donor funding, these gains may be tenuous. About 340,000 people in the region are living with HIV.
UNAIDS. Fact Sheet—Global AIDS Update 2019 Published July 2019. Accessed July 2019.
UNAIDS. Communities at the Center—UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2019. Published July 2019. Accessed July UNAIDS. Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free. Published July 2019. Accessed July 2019.
UNAIDS. AIDSinfo. Updated July 2019. Accessed August 2019.
(Last updated August 2019)