Global HIV Prevalence

As part of the new Sustainable Development Goal 3 which aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” the UN concludes, that “the incidence of [HIV] has declined globally since 2000. […] The incidence of HIV was highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.5 new cases per 1,000 uninfected people.” Despite longer term positive trends, a recent UNAIDS report stated that “new HIV infections among adults have stalled, failing to decline for at least five years.” This shows that HIV remains a global challenge that needs continuing prevention efforts and ongoing awareness and education. In 2015 it was estimated that globally 34.0 to 39.8 million people are living with HIV. The following cartogram shows the countries of the world resized according to the adult population (aged 15-49) living with HIV, complemented by two maps showing the corresponding relative percentages:

HIV Prevalence Map / Cartogram
(click for larger version)

Comparing these patterns to the more recent trends from the
UNAIDS report, it is particularly noticeable that the regions that appear less problematic from this global picture are among those most affected from the recent reverse trend with rising HIV levels. The report states:

– Eastern Europe and central Asia saw a 57% increase in annual new HIV infections between 2010 and 2015.
– After years of steady decline, the Caribbean saw an 9% rise in annual new HIV infections among adults between 2010 and 2015.
– In the Middle East and North Africa, annual new HIV infections increased by 4% between 2010 and 2015.

In the light of these figures, this year’s UK campaign motto HIV not retro, as well as the global theme of Hands Up for HIV-Prevention, show that 35 years after its discovery, the need to speak about HIV is as important as in its early days.

“World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.” (Quoted from

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin Hennig using data by WHO (2015)/Global Health Observatory published in the Human Development Report and own estimates based on UN Population Prospects population data. Please contact me for further details and the terms of use.

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