- Approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S.a have HIV. About 13 percent of them don’t know it and need testing.
- HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
- In 2019, an estimated 34,800 new HIV infections occurred in the U.S.
- New HIV infections declined 8% from 37,800 in 2015 to 34,800 in 2019, after a period of general stability.
- In 2020, 30,635 people received an HIV diagnosis in the U.S. and 6 dependent areas—a 17% decrease from the prior year, likely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV prevention, testing, and care-related services.b
- HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed across states and regions. The highest rates of new diagnoses continue to occur in the South.
New HIV Infections (HIV Incidence)
HIV incidence refers to the estimated number of new HIV infections during specified period (such as a year), which is different from the number of people diagnosed with HIV during a given year. Some people may have HIV for some time but not know it, so the year they are diagnosed may not be the same as the year they acquired HIV.
According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 34,800 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2019. Annual infections in the U.S. have been reduced by more than two-thirds since the height of the epidemic in the mid-1980s. Further, CDC estimates of annual HIV infections in the United States show hopeful signs of progress in recent years. CDC estimates show new HIV infections declined 8% from 2015 to 2019, after a period of general stability.
Much of this progress is likely due to larger declines among young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)c in recent years. From 2015 to 2019, new infections among young MSM (ages 13-24) dropped 33% overall, with declines in young men of all races, but Blacks/African Americand and Hispanics/Latinoe MSM continue to be severely and disproportionately affected.
Key Points: HIV Incidence
HIV incidence declined 8% from 2015 to 2019. In 2019, the estimated number of HIV infections in the U.S. was 34,800 and the rate was 12.6 (per 100,000 people).
By age group, the annual number of HIV infections in 2019, compared with 2015, decreased among persons aged 13–24 and persons aged 45-54, but remained stable among all other age groups. In 2019, the rate was highest for persons aged 25-34 (30.1), followed by the rate for persons aged 35-44 (16.5).
By race/ethnicity, the annual number of HIV infections in 2019, compared with 2015, decreased among persons of multiple races, but remained stable for persons of all other races/ethnicities. In 2019, the highest rate was for Blacks/African American persons (42.1), followed by Hispanic/Latino persons (21.7) and persons of multiple races (18.4).
By sex at birth, the annual number of new HIV infections in 2019, as compared to 2015, decreased among males, but remained stable among females. In 2019, the rate for males (21.0) was 5 times the rate for females (4.5).
By HIV transmission category, the annual number of HIV infections in 2019, compared with 2015, decreased among males with transmission attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, but remained stable among all other transmission categories. In 2019, the largest percentages of HIV infections were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact (66% overall and 81% among males.) In 2019, among females, the largest percentage of HIV infection was attributed to heterosexual contact (83%).
For more details on recent HIV incidence statistics, see Estimated HIV Incidence and Prevalence in the United States, 2015-2019.
HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who have received an HIV diagnosis during a year, regardless of when they acquired HIV. (Some people can live with HIV for years before they are diagnosed; others are diagnosed soon after acquiring HIV.)
According to the latest CDC data, in 2020, 30,635 people aged 13 and older received an HIV diagnosis in the U.S.—a 17% decrease from the previous year, likely due to the impact of COVID-19. Trends varied for different groups of people.
CDC data for 2020 should be interpreted with caution due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to HIV testing, care-related services, and case surveillance activities in state and local jurisdictions.
Key Points: HIV Diagnoses
In 2020, MSM were the population most affected by HIV in the U.S.:
- In 2020, MSM accounted for 71% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States.f
- In 2020, Black/African American MSM accounted for 26% (8,064) of new HIV diagnoses and 39% of diagnoses among all MSM.
- In 2020, Hispanic/Latino MSM made up 21% (6,359) of new HIV diagnoses and 31% of diagnosis among all MSM.
- From 2016 to 2019, HIV diagnoses decreased 7% among gay and bisexual men overall. But trends varied for different groups of gay and bisexual men.
Transgender people accounted for approximately 2% (635) of the 30,635 new HIV diagnoses in 2020.
- Transgender womeng accounted for 2% (638) of new diagnoses.
- Transgender menh accounted for less than 1% (40) of new diagnoses.
- By age, in 2020, the largest percentage (28%) of diagnoses of HIV infection among transgender persons was for transgender women aged 25-29 years, followed by transgender women aged 20-24 years (21%).
People who acquired HIV through heterosexual contact made up 22% (6,626) of HIV diagnoses in the U.S. in 2020.
- People assigned male sex at birth who acquired HIV through heterosexual contact accounted for 7% of new HIV diagnoses.
- People assigned female sex at birth who acquired HIV through heterosexual women accounted for 15%.
- From 2016 to 2019, HIV diagnoses from heterosexual contact decreased 13% overall.
People who inject drugs (PWID) accounted for 7% of new HIV infections in the U.S. and 6 dependent areas in 2020.
- Men who inject drugs accounted for 4% (1,198) of new HIV diagnoses.
- Women who inject drugs accounted for 3% (857) of new HIV diagnoses.
By race/ethnicity, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV:
- In 2020, Blacks/African Americans represented 12% of the U.S. population but accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses (12,827).
- Between 2016 and 2019, diagnoses among Blacks/African Americans ages 13 and older decreased 8%.
- In 2020, Hispanics/Latinos represented 19% of the U.S. population but accounted for 27% of new HIV diagnoses (8,285).
- Between 2016 and 2019, diagnoses among Hispanics/Latinx remained stable.
By age group, in 2020 people aged 13 to 34 accounted for more than half (57%) of new diagnoses. People aged 25 to 34 represented 37% (11,336) of those newly diagnosed. .
By region of residence,i HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed. In 2020, 51% of those newly diagnosed with HIV lived in the South; 21% lived in the West; 14% lived in the Northeast; 13% lived in the Midwest; and 1% lived in U.S. dependent areas.
Most diagnoses are now highly concentrated in certain geographic areas. More than 50 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2016 and 2017 occurred in 48 counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. These 50 jurisdictions are prioritized in Phase I of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, along with seven states with a disproportionate occurrence of HIV in rural areas. View these priority jurisdictions.
Living with HIV
At year-end 2019, an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States aged 13 and older had HIV in the U.S., the most recent year for which this information is available.
According to the latest CDC data:
- About 13% of people with HIV in the U.S. don’t know it and so need testing. Early HIV diagnosis is crucial. Everyone aged 13-64 should be tested at least once. People at higher risk of acquiring (or exposure to) HIV should be tested at least annually. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3-6 months).
- According to another CDC report, of the estimated 1.2 million people with HIV (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in 2019, about 65.9% received some HIV care, 50.1% were retained in care, and 56.8% were virally suppressed or undetectable. Having a suppressed or undetectable viral load protects the health of a person living with HIV, preventing disease progression. There is also a major prevention benefit. People with HIV who take HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.
In 2020, there were 18,489 deaths among adults and adolescents with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause, including COVID-19.
For information about how HIV affects your state or county, visit America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD), an interactive dashboard that lets you examine Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. indicator data for all 50 states with a focus on 57 priority areas. Tracking this data at the community level serves to highlight our progress as a nation.
To learn about the United States’ response to the HIV epidemic, view the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Strategy provides stakeholders across the nation with a roadmap to accelerate efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. The Strategy reflects President Biden’s commitment to re-energize and strengthen a whole-of-society response to the epidemic while supporting people with HIV and reducing HIV-associated morbidity and mortality.
a Unless otherwise noted, the term United States (U.S.) includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 6 dependent areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
b Data for 2020 throughout this fact sheet should be interpreted with caution due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to HIV testing, care-related services, and surveillance activities in state and local jurisdictions. For more information, view CDC's report commentary.
c The term male-to-male sexual contact is used in CDC surveillance systems. It indicates a behavior that transmits HIV infection, not how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality. This web content uses the term gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM).
d The term Black/African American is used in CDC surveillance systems. Black refers to people having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. African American is a term often used for people of African descent with ancestry in North America.
e Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
f This includes infections attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use (men who reported both risk factors)
g The term transgender woman is used in CDC surveillance systems. Transgender woman includes individuals who were assigned “male” sex at birth but have ever identified as “female” gender.
h The term transgender man is used in CDC surveillance systems. Transgender man includes individuals who were assigned “female” sex at birth but have ever identified as “male” gender.
i This page uses the regions defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and used in CDC’s National HIV Surveillance System:
Northeast: CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Midwest: IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI
South: AL, AR, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
West: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY.
CDC. Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2020. HIV Surveillance Report 2021; 33.
CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2015-2019. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2021; 26(No. 1)
CDC. Monitoring Selected National HIV Prevention and Care Objectives by Using HIV Surveillance Data—United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2019. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2021;26(No. 2).
HHS. America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD). Accessed September 26, 2022.