World Aids Day 2018: The global HIV crisis in numbers

Approximately 36.9 million people still living with deadly virus but containment and treatment has made huge strides since scare of 1980s

Joe Sommerlad
Saturday 01 December 2018 10:07
World Aids Day: the annual HIV awareness campaign

As World Aids Day marks its 30th anniversary, it is worth examining the scale of a global epidemic that has killed 35.4 million people since the early 1980s.

The CIA World Factbook lists Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia as the countries worst affected by HIV at present, with 27.2 per cent of the population carrying the disease in Swaziland.

Despite advances in medical treatment since Aids was first identified, 940,000 people died from related illnesses in 2017, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This nevertheless represents a 51 per cent drop from its peak of 1.9 million in 2004.

As of 2017, there are currently 36.9 million people living with HIV around the world, 1.8 million of whom are children aged under 15 and another 1.8 million who are newly infected.

Of that total, only 21.7 million are currently accessing antiretroviral therapy but that is up by eight million since 2010, an indication that awareness is growing and people are more proactively getting themselves tested and seeking help.

New HIV infections have dropped by 16 per cent since 2010 and 47 per cent since the peak of the crisis in 1996, when 3.4 million people globally were diagnosed.

UNAIDS's findings identify men who have sex with other men as the group most likely to contract HIV, being 27 times more vulnerable than average.

People who take drugs via a hypodermic needle are 23 times more likely to catch it and female sex workers 13 times more likely.

Here's the full international breakdown of the international HIV/Aids picture by region:

Eastern and South Africa

  • People living with HIV: 19.6 million
  • New infections: 800,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 380,000
  • People accessing treatment: 12.9 million

Asia Pacific

  • People living with HIV: 5.2 million
  • New infections: 280,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 170,000
  • People accessing treatment: 2.7 million

Western and Central Africa

  • People living with HIV: 6.1 million
  • New infections: 370,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 280,000
  • People accessing treatment: 2.4 million

Latin America

  • People living with HIV: 1.8 million
  • New infections: 100,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 37,000
  • People accessing treatment: 1.1 million

The Caribbean

  • People living with HIV: 310,000
  • New infections: 15,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 10,000
  • People accessing treatment: 181,000

Middle East and North Africa

  • People living with HIV: 220,000
  • New infections: 18,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 9,800
  • People accessing treatment: 63,200

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

  • People living with HIV: 1.4 million
  • New infections: 130,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 34,000
  • People accessing treatment: 520,000
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Western Europe and North America

  • People living with HIV: 2.2 million
  • New infections: 70,000
  • Aids-related deaths: 13,000
  • People accessing treatment: 1.7 million

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