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Global HIV and AIDS statistics

2015 global HIV statistics

HIV continues to be a major global public health issue. In 2015, an estimated 36.7 million people were living with HIV (including 1.8 million children) – a global HIV prevalence of 0.8%.1 2 The vast majority of this number live in low- and middle- income countries. In the same year, 1.1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.3

Since the start of the epidemic, an estimated 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses.4

An estimated 25.5 million people living with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. The vast majority of them (an estimated 19 million) live in east and southern Africa which saw 46% of new HIV infections globally in 2015.5 Around 40% of all people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus.6

In 2015, there were roughly 2.1 million new HIV infections, 150,000 of which were among children. Most of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and were infected via their HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.7

Progress in decreasing new HIV infections among adults has slowed in recent years. Since 2010, the annual number of new infections among adults (15+) has remained static at 1.9 million.8

A comparison of country data shows huge discrepancies in efforts to slow the spread of new infections. Some countries have achieved a decline of 50% or more in new HIV infections among adults over the last 10 years, while many have made no measurable progress. Yet others are experiencing worrying increases in new HIV infections.9


Despite these challenges, new global efforts have meant that the number of people receiving HIV treatment has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly in resource-poor countries.

As of December 2015, 17 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) - up from 15.8 million in June 2015 and 7.5 million in 2010. This means that 46% of all adults and 49% of all children living with HIV are now accessing ART.10

Significant progress has also been made in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). In 2015, 77% of all pregnant women living with HIV accessed treatment to prevent HIV transmission to their babies.11

HIV and tuberculosis

Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, accounting for around one in three AIDS-related deaths. However, some progress had been made with a decline of 32% of tuberculosis-related deaths among people living with HIV since 2004.12


In 2015, US$ 19 billion was invested in the HIV and AIDS response in low- and middle- income countries with 57% of the total HIV resources in these countries coming from domestic budgets.13

Rising numbers of new HIV infections in many countries means that US$ 26.2 billion will be required for the response to the epidemic in 2020, with US$ 23.9 billion required in 2030.14

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Last full review: 
02 October 2015

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Last updated:
07 October 2016
Last full review:
02 October 2015