HIV/AIDS: A Global Epidemic

The HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a global health challenge of unprecedented dimensions and a monumental threat to development progress.

Exacting a High Price in Developing Countries

There are nearly 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the world, the vast majority in developing countries and more than half are women.1

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to disproportionately bear the global HIV/AIDS burden. Nearly two-thirds of all people newly infected with HIV live in that region, and nearly three-quarters of all AIDS deaths occur there.1

Preventing the Spread of HIV/AIDS

The global response to the epidemic continues to be challenged by new infections, even with scale-up of antiretroviral treatment in low- and middle-income countries. According to UNAIDS, although overall new infections have declined since 2010, the rate of decline is too slow to reduce annual new infections to 500,000 by 2020.2

Women also continue to be disproportionately affected. Every day, nearly 2,000 women are infected with HIV,1 and young women ages 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are more than twice as likely to acquire HIV as young men of the same age.3



UNAIDS, July 2018 Core Epidemiology Slides, 2018 
2 UNAIDS, “Ending AIDS: Progress Towards the 90-90-90 Targets,” 2017
UNAIDS, AIDSinfo database., accessed January 4, 2018.