The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
According to UNAIDS:
- There were approximately 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2016. Of these, 2.1 million were children (<15 years old).
- An estimated 1.8 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2016 – about 5,000 new infections per day. This includes 160,000 children (<15 years). Most of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and were infected by their HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
- Approximately 70% of people living with HIV globally were aware of their HIV status in 2016. The remaining 30% (over 11 million people) still need access to HIV testing services. HIV testing is an essential gateway to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
- As of June 2017, 20.9 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally, up from 15.8 million in June 2015, 7.5 million in 2010, and less than one million in 2000.
- 1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2016, bringing the total number of people who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic to 35.0 million.
- The vast majority of people living with HIV are in low- and middle-income countries.
- In 2016, there were 19.4 million people living with HIV (53%) in eastern and southern Africa, 6.1 million (17%) in western and central Africa, 5.1 million (14%) in Asia and the Pacific, and 2.1 million (6%) in Western and Central Europe and North America.
- Despite advances in our scientific understanding of HIV and its prevention and treatment as well as years of significant effort by the global health community and leading government and civil society organizations, too many people living with HIV or at risk for HIV still do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment, and there is still no cure. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy lives and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
- The HIV epidemic not only affects the health of individuals, it impacts households, communities, and the development and economic growth of nations. Many of the countries hardest hit by HIV also suffer from other infectious diseases, food insecurity, and other serious problems.
- Despite these challenges, there have been successes and promising signs. New global efforts have been mounted to address the epidemic, particularly in the last decade. The number of people newly infected with HIV has declined over the years . In addition, the number of people with HIV receiving treatment in resource-poor countries has dramatically increased in the past decade.
- Progress also has been made in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and keeping mothers alive. The percentage of pregnant women receiving ART increased to 76% in 2016, up from 47% in 2010.
- However, global HIV prevention targets continue to be missed by a wide margin and declines in new HIV infections remain too slow.
U.S. Response to the Global Epidemic
The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and represents the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. Thanks to American leadership and generosity, alongside the work of many partners, PEPFAR has saved millions of lives, averted millions of infections, and changed the course of the epidemic.
In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) represents the largest public investment in HIV/AIDS research in the world. NIH is engaged in research around the globe to understand, diagnose, treat, and prevent HIV infection and its many associated conditions, and to find a cure.
Read more about the U.S. Government’s global HIV/AIDS activities.