To say that the HIV AIDS statistics is alarming will be an understatment. We have epidemics that come and go, but the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to stay on. Its epidemiology has been and continues to be very dynamic.

Read how much HIV and AIDS have spread – the alarming figures for their prevalence and incidence of HIV infections and the deaths due to AIDS. I have explained the figures that are worldwide, by various regions throughout the world and country-wise. I have also explained the statistics that compare the prevalence of HIV and AIDS between gay and heterosexual men.

I have also written my previous post on the history and origin of the HIV virus. It makes for interesting reading. You should read it.

HIV, full-form human immunodeficiency virus, is a retrovirus, which attaches to the CD4 helper lymphocyte cells, also called the T-cells, and progressively destroys the body’s immune system.

The HIV infection passes through clinical stages and a stage comes when the infected person develops AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection. It takes years for it to develop after first being infected. AIDS is basically a syndrome of symptoms of the disease that has invaded the body due to its defenseless status.

There are a number of opportunistic infections that are responsible for AIDS. Such infections rarely affect healthy individuals. Untreated cases of AIDS result in death.

Such infections include tuberculosis, pneumonia, cancer, and more. Tuberculosis, however, remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, accounting for about one-third of AIDS-related deaths.

  Worldwide statistics and alarming facts

  • The highest rate of HIV is found in the Sub-Saharan African region while the Caribbean has the second highest rate.
  • More than 25 million cases of AIDS have died so far since the first cases were reported in 1981
    68 million people could die of AIDS between 2000 to 2020.
  • More than 33 million cases of HIV/AIDS are presently living in the world, half of which are women. Children under the age of 15 years account for 2 million of these.
  • Each minute 5 new people get infected with HIV.
  • Statistics for 2011, which are available show that approximately 1.7 million people died of AIDS during that single year.
  • Incidences for that same year show that 2.7 million new cases were reported.
  • HIV/AIDS cases have been reported from all regions of the world.
  • 97% of these cases come from developing and poor countries with the maximum concentration being in Africa more so in the Sub-Saharan African region in countries namely South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
  • Lifespan in the Sub-Sahara region is now 47 years while it could have been 62 years without AIDS
    Africa has lost 20% of its labor force to AIDS.
  • In undeveloped countries, most of the cases occur due to unprotected sex and blood transfusions.
    In developed countries, 58% of the new cases are due to shared needles by drug addicts (IDU), and only 33% are due to unprotected sex.
  • 28 million HIV cases are found in Africa, half a million in West Europe, 300,000 in Eastern Europe, 600,000 in Eastern Asia and Oceania; 2.6 million in America (mostly South America).

HIV epidemiology 2015 worldwide

  • That HIV/AIDS has attained epidemic proportions is now well established. It was officially declared an epidemic on June 5, 1981.
  • A whopping 78 million people have become victims of this infection since the beginning of the epidemic till the end of 2015.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 36.7 million people (including 1.8 million children) worldwide, living with HIV towards the end of 2015.
  • In the same year of 2015, 1.1 million people died of AIDS-related infections.
  • An average of about 2.1 million new people acquired HIV infection in 2015 worldwide.
  • About 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic till the end of 2015.
  • The majority of the HIV-infected people live in low and middle-income countries and 40% of these HIV carriers are not aware that they have the infection.
  • As of June 2016, out of the 36.7 million, only half, that is 18.2 million people, are receiving antiretroviral treatment worldwide.
  • However, fresh HIV infections among children have declined by 50% in the five years from 2010 to 2015.
  • There has, however, been no decline in new infections in adults.

Mother-to-child HIV transmission rates

Mother-to-child transmission rates vary from 15% to 45% when the mother and baby are without treatment.

With regular and effective HIV treatment during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding, this figure can be drastically brought down to below 5%

Treatment protocol remains fixed and involves antiretroviral drugs for both mother and a short course for the baby, in spite of their side effects.

HIV figures by region for 2015

Here are the statistical numbers for regions in 2015:

  • Eastern and Southern Africa: 19 million
  • Western and Central Africa: 6.5 million
  • Asia and the Pacific: 5.1 million
  • Western and Central Europe and Northern America: 2.4 million
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 2 million
  • East Europe and Central Asia: 1.5 million
  • Middle East and North Africa: 230,000
  • 28 million HIV cases are found in Africa
  • 300,000 in Eastern Europe
  • Half a million in West Europe,
  • 600,000 in Eastern Asia and Oceania
  • 2.6 million in America (mostly South America)

HIV AIDS statistics by country

United States Statistics

  • In the United States, more than 1.1 million people are HIV positive.
  • About 20% of these people (one in five cases) are unaware that they are harboring HIV making them potential carriers for spreading the AIDS virus.
  • So far, an estimated 1,155,792 people in the USA have been diagnosed with AIDS.
  • Among the youth, African-American men (Blacks) who have sex with men (MSM) are the most affected. They make up 47% of the HIV-positive population.
  • About 50,000 people are infected every year with HIV in the States and this figure has remained stable over the last ten years.
  • In 2011, 49,273 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the U.S.
  • In the same year, 32,052 people (who were HIV positive) throughout the USA were diagnosed with AIDS.
  • AIDS ranks sixth as the leading cause of death in people between the ages of 25 to 44 years of age. In 1995, it ranked number one.

United Kingdom statistics

The United Kingdom (UK) enjoys a relatively small HIV epidemic, with an estimated 101,200 people living with HIV in 2015.

This translates to an HIV prevalence of 1.6 per 1,000 people aged 15 and over.

In the same year of 2015, 6,095 people were newly diagnosed with HIV and 594 people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

Towards the end of 2010, about 91,500 people were infected with HIV in the UK. 25% of these people were not aware that they were victims of the AIDS virus.

South Africa statistics 2015

South Africa has the largest and most high-profile HIV epidemic numbers in the world, with about 7 million people living with HIV in 2015 — that is just under 12% of South Africa’s population of 48 million. Among the adult population, the rate is 18.5%.

This number of infected people is larger than in any other single country in the world.

There were 380,000 new HIV infections and 180,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in that same year.

HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa is now estimated to be between 22% and 48%.

HIV prevalence among sex workers is estimated at 59.6%. However, this varies between different locations with prevalence estimated at 72% in Johannesburg, 54% in Durban, and 40% in Cape Town.

In 2015, an estimated 19.4% of people who inject drugs were living with HIV.

Only about 48% of the total HIV population is on antiretroviral therapy (ART).


Towards the end of 2015, about 25,313 people were living with HIV infection in Australia. Of them, an estimated 2,619 (10%) were unaware of their HIV-positive status.

HIV transmission in Australia continues to occur primarily through sexual contact between men (homosexuals). In 2015, 1,025 people newly tested positive for HIV.


An estimated 75,500 Canadians were living with HIV at the end of 2014, an increase of 6,700 people (9.7%) since 2011.

Canada’s HIV prevalence rate is 212 per 100,000 people living in Canada.

About 20 percent of Canadians infected with HIV are unaware that they have HIV.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (the Agency), an average of 2,570 new infections occurred in Canada in 2014. This figure is slightly lower than the figure of 2011, which was 2800 new cases.

Of the new infections of 2014, 1,396 were men who have sex with men (MSM) exposure group, representing 54.3% of all new infections.


Nigeria has the second-largest number of people living with HIV.

As of 2014, the HIV prevalence rate among adults between the ages of 15-49 years was 3.17 percent. That figure is 3,200,000

  • Number of people living with HIV: 3,500,000
  • Women aged 15 and over living with HIV: 1,900,000
  • Children aged 0 to 14 living with HIV: 2,60,000
  • Deaths due to AIDS: 1,80,000

India (2015)

India faces the third-largest HIV epidemic in the world.

  • 2.1 million people living with HIV infection
  • 86,000 new HIV infections diagnosed
  • 68,000 deaths due to AIDS-related diseases
  • Only 43 percent of the people on ART treatment

The Indian HIV epidemic is driven by heterosexual sex and not MSM as in other countries. This cause accounted for 87% of new infections in 2015.

HIV statistics gay vs straight

The good news among all these statistics for HIV is that annual HIV infections in the United States declined 18% between 2008-2014 (from 45,700 to 37,600).

Higher reductions were seen among drug-injecting people (56% reduction), heterosexual men and women (36%)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homosexual men who have sex with men constituted only about 2% of the population but a whopping 55% of people living with HIV in the United States in 2013.

If this trend continues, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be infected with HIV in their lifetime, including 1 in 2 African-American gay and bisexual men.

More figures and facts for 2014:

  • Gay and bisexual men accounted for 83% (29,418) of the estimated new HIV-infected cases among all males aged 13 and older.
  • Gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 to 24 years accounted for about 92% of new HIV-diagnosed cases among all men in their age group and 27% of new cases among all gay and bisexual men.
  • Gay and bisexual men accounted for an estimated 54% (11,277) of AIDS-diagnosed cases. Of these, 39% were African-American, 32% were white, and 24% were Hispanic/Latino.