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Worldwide HIV & AIDS Statistics
An HIV/AIDS epidemic is defined by the HIV prevalence in the general population. HIV prevalence is the percentage of the population living with HIV.
There is either a generalised or concentrated epidemic. In a generalised epidemic, HIV prevalence is 1% or more in the general population. In a concentrated or low level epidemics, HIV prevalence is below 1% in the general population but exceeds 5% in specific at-risk populations like injecting drug users or sex workers, or HIV prevalence is not recorded at a significant level in any group).1
In order to understand the HIV and AIDS epidemic, it is necessary to look at certain figures. Researchers and epidemiologists usually compile the number of people living with HIV (the HIV prevalence), the number of new infections (the HIV incidence), and the number of people who have died of AIDS among other categories.
Global HIV and AIDS estimates, 2011
|People living with HIV/AIDS in 2011||34 million||31.4-35.9 million|
|Proportion of adults living with HIV/AIDS in 2011 who were women (%)||50||48-53|
|Children living with HIV/AIDS in 2011||3.3 million||3.1-3.8 million|
|People newly infected with HIV in 2011||2.5 million||2.2-2.8 million|
|Children newly infected with HIV in 2011||330,000||280,000-390,000|
|AIDS deaths in 2011||1.7 million||1.5-1.9 million|
The number of people living with HIV rose from around 8 million in 1990 to 34 million by the end of 2011. The overall growth of the epidemic has stabilised in recent years. The annual number of new HIV infections has steadily declined and due to the significant increase in people receiving antiretroviral therapy, the number of AIDS-related deaths has also declined.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS-related causes.3
Regional statistics for HIV and AIDS, end of 2011
|Region||Adults & children
living with HIV/AIDS
|Adults & children
|Adult prevalence*||AIDS-related deaths in
adults & children
|Sub-Saharan Africa||23.5 million||1.8 million||4.9%||1.2 million|
|North Africa & Middle East||300,000||37,000||0.2%||23,000|
|South and South-East Asia||4 million||280,000||0.3%||250,000|
|Latin America||1.4 million||83,000||0.4%||54,000|
|Eastern Europe & Central Asia||1.4 million||140,000||0.2%||92,000|
|North America||1.4 million||51,000||0.6%||21,000|
|Western & Central Europe||900,000||30,000||0.2%||7,000|
|Global Total||34 million||2.5 million||0.8%||1.7 million|
* Proportion of adults aged 15-49 who are living with HIV/AIDS
With around 69 percent of all people living with HIV residing in sub-Saharan Africa, the region carries the greatest burden of the epidemic. Epidemics in Asia have remained relatively stable and are still largely concentrated among high-risk groups. Conversely, the number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has more than tripled since 2000.
Adults are defined as men and women aged 15 or above, unless specified otherwise.
All the statistics on this page should be interpreted with caution because they are estimates.
- 1. WHO, (2000) 'Second Generation Surveillance for HIV/AIDS'
- 2. UNAIDS (2012) 'Global Report: UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2012'
- 3. UNAIDS (2011) 'Unite for universal access: Overview brochure on 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS'