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Canada AIDS Statistics by Year and Age

Positive HIV tests and AIDS diagnoses by year

YearAIDS diagnosesPositive HIV test reports
Adult maleAdult femaleTotal, all agesAdult maleAdult femaleTotal, all ages
Until end 1999†16,4551,40718,07935,2665,30645,503

† AIDS reporting began in 1979; HIV reporting began in 1985; annual data are not available for positive HIV test reports prior to 1995 for all jurisdictions.

line chart positive HIV test and AIDS diagnoses by year

Trends in HIV diagnoses

The annual number of reported positive HIV test results increased between 2000 and 2004, following a steady decline since 1995. This rise may be partly due to changes in immigration policies that were introduced in 2002. HIV tests are now part of the routine assessment for immigrants and most provinces and territories include these results in their reports.

Women have accounted for around a quarter of adult HIV diagnoses reported with known gender in each year since 2000. This proportion has more than doubled from 12% in the period 1985-97.

When interpreting HIV test reports, it is important to note that there may be a "reporting delay" between the time when a person tests positive for HIV and the time when the report is received by the Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control (CIDPC). The statistics for recent years are likely to rise as more reports are received. Even if adjustment is made for reporting delays, the statistics still include only those people who have come forward to be tested for HIV. Willingness to be tested may vary between different groups of people.

Trends in AIDS diagnoses

Since the beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s, there have been 22,074 AIDS diagnoses reported to CIDPC. The number of annual diagnoses peaked at 1,828 in 1993 and has since declined to around 150. A major factor in the initial, dramatic decrease in cases was the delayed or prevented onset of AIDS due to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Such treatment has become widespread since 1996.

After steep falls between 1995 and 1997, a more gradual decline in the number of diagnoses has continued. In the analysis of recent years, allowance should be made for delays in reporting, and for the fact that Quebec has not reported AIDS data since June 2003.

Females accounted for 7% of AIDS cases reported with known gender in the period 1979-94; in 2011 this figure is 17.9%. 1

AIDS cases by ethnic status and year of diagnosis

Ethnic status20042005200620072008200920102011Total*
South Asian/
West Asian/Arab
Latin American14433322293
Not reported90219169164162126106875,091
Bar chart AIDS cases by ethnic status

*Total reported AIDS diagnoses since 1979

The proportion of AIDS cases with known ethnicity reported among white people declined from 91% in 1988 to 48.4% in 2011. The ethnic groups with the next highest AIDS cases are Aboriginals, whose percentage has fallen from 38.3 - 18.8% in the past year, and Black people, whose percentage has risen from 3.5 - 14.1% in the past year. These two groups are now highly overrepresented.

In the 2001 census, aboriginal and black people accounted for 3.3% and 2.2% of Canada's population respectively. In the same year, these groups respectively reported 6.4% and 15.2% of AIDS cases with known ethnicity. In 2011, these proportions were 18.8% for aboriginal people and 14.1% for black people. However it should be noted that in many cases ethnicity is not reported. In 2011 ethnic status was not provided in 58% of AIDS cases reported.

The relative size of exposure categories varies significantly between ethnic groups. Injecting drug use is a major route of transmission of infection in aboriginal communities. Among black Canadians, the vast majority of infections are probably acquired through heterosexual contact. Sex between men accounted for the majority of AIDS cases in white Canadians. In females there was a fairly even split in positive test reports in white and aboriginal women at around 40%, with black women only accounting for 15% of new infections.

Positive HIV tests and AIDS diagnoses by age group, until end of 2011

Age groupAIDS diagnosesPositive HIV test reports
Under 15128117245330242585
60 or older653116769

* Includes reports for which gender was not reported or was reported as transgender

In recent years the most notable trend has been the increase in diagnoses among young women. In 2011, the 20-29 age category accounted for 14.8% of female AIDS cases, compared to 5.6% of male cases. There were more male AIDS cases in the older age categories; 37.1% of male cases were in the 40-49 age category compared to 29.6% of female cases. 2



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