Share of young people with knowledge on HIV prevention

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What you should know about this indicator

HIV epidemics are perpetuated primarily through the sexual transmission of infection to successive generations of young people. Sound knowledge about HIV and AIDS is necessary (although often insufficient) for adopting behaviour that reduces the risk of HIV transmission.

Method of measurement:

Population-based surveys (Demographic and Health Survey, AIDS Indicator Survey, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey or other representative survey)

This indicator is constructed from responses to the following set of prompted questions. In particular, as the percentage of respondents 15–24 years old who correctly answered all five questions.

  1. Can the risk of HIV transmission be reduced by having sex with only one uninfected partner who has no other partners?

  2. Can a person reduce the risk of getting HIV by using a condom every time they have sex?

  3. Can a healthy-looking person have HIV?

  4. Can a person get HIV from mosquito bites?

  5. Can a person get HIV by sharing food with someone who is infected?

The first three questions should not be altered. Questions 4 and 5 ask about local misconceptions and may be replaced by the most common misconceptions in your country. Examples include: “Can a person get HIV by hugging or shaking hands with a person who is infected?” and “Can a person get HIV through supernatural means?”

Those who have never heard of HIV and AIDS should be excluded from the numerator but included in the denominator. An answer of “don't know” should be recorded as an incorrect answer.

Scores for each of the individual questions (based on the same denominator) are required as well as the score for the composite indicator.


  • Age (15–19 and 20–24 years)
  • Gender (male, female)
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2023) – with minor processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
August 9, 2023
Date range

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

UNAIDS leads the world's most extensive data collection on HIV epidemiology, programme coverage and finance and publishes the most authoritative and up-to-date information on the HIV epidemic.

In some cases there is no data for some country and year. This can be a result of very small epidemics among women in the reproductive age which makes estimation of the mother to child transmission very unstable. Another reason for missing data is that relevant authorities may have asked UNAIDS not to share their estimates.

This report makes clear that there is a path to end AIDS. Taking that path will help ensure preparedness to address other pandemic challenges, and advance progress across the Sustainable Development Goals. The data and real-world examples in the report make it very clear what that path is. It is not a mystery. It is a choice. Some leaders are already following the path—and succeeding. It is inspiring to note that Botswana, Eswatini, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe have already achieved the 95–95–95 targets, and at least 16 other countries (including eight in sub-Saharan Africa) are close to doing so.

Retrieved on
August 9, 2023
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
The path that ends AIDS: UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2023. Geneva: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; 2023.
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

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To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Share of young people with knowledge on HIV prevention”, part of the following publication: Max Roser and Hannah Ritchie (2023) - “HIV / AIDS”. Data adapted from Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2023) – with minor processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2023) – with minor processing by Our World in Data. “Share of young people with knowledge on HIV prevention” [dataset]. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, “Global AIDS Update” [original data]. Retrieved June 18, 2024 from