HIV / AIDS

OWID presents work from many different people and organizations. When citing this entry, please also cite the original data source. This entry can be cited as:

Max Roser (2016) – ‘HIV / AIDS’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/hiv-aids/ [Online Resource]

 

# Empirical View

The 1990s saw a massive increase in the number of people infected with HIV and dying of AIDS. At the height of the AIDS crisis, almost 3.7 million people were diagnosed with HIV per year. But after 1997, the number of new diagnoses annually began to slow, and eventually around 2005, the annual number of deaths from AIDS began to slow as well. The number of new cases of HIV and the number of AIDS deaths have steadily declined since.

# Annual global number of deaths due to AIDS and new HIV infections, 1990-2013 – Max Roser1

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The following chart shows the same information above in addition to the total number of people living with HIV over time. The rate of increase in the number of people living with HIV globally began to level off near 2002. The total population of people living with HIV continues to increase, but at a much slower rate than in previous years.

# New Infections

There are 700,000 fewer new HIV infections across the world in 2011 than in 2001.3 However, the distribution of these new cases is not even across different regions in low and middle income countries. In most regions of the world, the number of new infections has decreased or stayed fairly steady since 2001. However, the number of new HIV infections has actually increased in the Middle East and North Africa. But still the number of new cases in the Middle East is still much lower than in most other regions: the Middle East sees approximately 25,000 new HIV infections per year, while Sub-Saharan Africa still has approximately 1,500,000 new infections per year. Fortunately, the number of new cases in Sub-Sarharan Africa is steadily decreasing each year.

# New HIV infections among adults in low- and middle-income countries, by region, 2001-2012 – UNAIDS (2013)4
New HIV infections among adults in low- and middle-income countries, by region, 2001–2012 – UNAIDS (2013)

The following chart further shows how the reduction in the number of new HIV infections varies across country. As the chart states, 25 countries have seen over a 50% reduction in new HIV infections in adults between 2001 and 2011. Some countries have seen massive decreases, like Nepal, which has had a 91% reduction in new adult HIV cases. Others have seen a smaller difference, like Mexico with a 29% reduction.

# The reduction of the rate of new HIV infections % among adults (15-49 years) in 25 countries, 2001-2011 – UNAIDS (2012)5
The reduction of the rate of new HIV infections % among adults (15-49 years) in 25 countries, 2001-2011 – UNAIDS (2012)

# Deaths from AIDS

As the chart below states, death from AIDS began to decline in the mid-2000s because of increased antiretroviral treatment and the reduction in HIV incidence. The death rate has decreased at very different rates in different countries.

# People with HIV/AIDS

HIV prevalence continues to be highest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

# World map of HIV prevalence, 2009 – UNAIDS7
World map of HIV prevalence, 2009 – UNAIDS

In the following chart you can see how adult HIV prevalence has changed by clicking the buttons for the various years at the top. In general, prevalence increased until the mid 2000s, when it began to decrease. Counties in Southern Africa have generally had the highest prevalence.

# Prevalence of HIV by total % of population aged 15-49, 2012 – Max Roser8

 

# Correlates, Determinants, & Consequences

# Antiretroviral Medicine

Below, we can see how the increased use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) corresponds with the decrease in AIDS-related deaths. As ART use increased, AIDS-related deaths began to slow and decrease.

# Number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, by region, 2002-2011 – UNAIDS (2012)11
Number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, by region, 2002-2011 – UNAIDS (2012)

# Resources Available to Spend on AIDS

The following chart shows international and domestic spending on ART in various low and middle income countries. Previously, we have seen that AIDs deaths are still steadily increasing in the Middle East and North Africa, which may partially be due to the lack of domestic resources placed on ART therapy in this region.

# International and domestic public spending on antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, by region, various years up to 2013 – UNAIDS (2013)12

International and domestic public spending on antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, by region, various years up to 2013 – UNAIDS (2013)

The source of funding for HIV/AIDS treatment varies across world region. Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa care for HIV/AIDS patients primarily via funding from international assistance, while most countries in Latin America primarily use domestic funds.

# Share of care and treatment expenditure originating from international assistance, low- and middle-income countries, 2007-2011 – UNAIDS (2012)13
Share of care and treatment expenditure originating from international assistance, low- and middle-income countries, 2007-2011 – UNAIDS (2012)

# Education and HIV/AIDS

Education about HIV/AIDS is an incredibly important factor to prevent the disease’s spread. Unfortunately often knowledge about HIV/AIDS much lower for students of low socioeconomic status than students with high status.

# Percentage of grade 6 pupils who achieved minimal level of HIV and AIDS knowledge by socio-economic status, 2007 – UNESCO (2012)14
Percentage of grade 6 pupils who achieved minimal level of HIV and AIDS knowledge by socio-economic status, 2007 – UNESCO (2012)

The more education pregnant women have received, the more likely they are to seek HIV testing during their antenatal care visits.

# Percentage of pregnant women who, when it was offered during an antenatal care visit, sought HIV testing and received their results, by education, selected sub-Saharan African countries, 2004-2007 – UNESCO (2011)15
Percentage of pregnant women who, when it was offered during an antenatal care visit, sought HIV testing and received their results, by education, selected sub-Saharan African countries, 2004-2007 – UNESCO (2011)

 

Increases in education lead to safer behaviors. In both Kenya and the Dominican Republic, higher education level is correlated with higher condom usage. Even having only part of a primary education leads to a massive increase in the percentage of people who know that condoms prevent the spread of HIV.

# Education and condom usage in Kenya and the Dominican Republic – World Development Report (2007)16

Knowing that condoms prevent HIV increases with education, but so does the gap between knowledge and behavior.
Education and condom usage in Kenya and the Dominican Republic – World Development Report (2007)

# Mother to Child Infection

Mother to child transmission of HIV is one of the leading causes of HIV spread. Fortunately, in all Sub-Saharan African regions, mother-to-child transmission has decreased. For Eastern and Southern Africa, the decrease has been dramatic, while Western and Central Africa have see periods of increased transmission, though the percentage is still lower than it was in 2003.

# Decline and recovery of life expectancy in Africa, 1960-2010 – Wikipedia18Decline and recovery of life expectancy in Africa, 1960-2010 – Wikipedia

# Deaths Due to Tuberculosis among People Living with HIV

Death due to tuberculosis still remains high among people living with HIV, however the number of deaths is decreasing. Most of the global mortality due to TB among those with HIV is from cases in Sub-Saharan Africa.

# Data Quality & Definition

According to the Wikipedia page on HIV/AIDS, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that leads to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition that progressively compromises the immune system. It is transmitted through “unprotected sexual intercourse, contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.”20

The following table gives estimates for the number of people living with HIV, the number of new infections, the number of deaths, the number accessing treatment, and the financial resources behind HIV.

# HIV estimates with uncertainty bounds, 1990-2012 – UNAIDS21
HIV estimates with uncertainty bounds, 1990-2012 – UNAIDS

Since the mid-2000s, an increasing number of countries have demonstrated their focus on HIV/AIDS by reporting the HIV/AIDS rate in their respective nations. In 2012, there were only 7 countries that did not report, while in 2004 89 countries did not report.

# Reporting rates (UN Member States reporting/total number of UN Member) by region, 2004 – 2012 – UNAIDS (2012)22
Reporting rates (UN Member States reporting/total number of UN Member) by region, 2004 - 2012 – UNAIDS (2012)

Unfortunately, in many countries, the percentage of people who know their HIV status is very low

# Knowledge of HIV status among men and women living with HIV, selected countries, 2010-2011 – UNAIDS (2013)23
Knowledge of HIV status among men and women living with HIV, selected countries, 2010-2011 – UNAIDS (2013)

# Data Sources

 

# Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)
  • Data: Data on size of epidemic and response
  • Geographical coverage: Global
  • Time span: 1990-2014
  • Available at: Online here
  • There are also tools to analyze the data online, and there is background information on the data and the disease.
# World Health Organization
  • Data: Data on size of epidemic and response
  • Geographical coverage: WHO member nations
  • Time span: Since c. 2001
  • Available at: The WHO publishes data here.
# Gapminder
  • Data: HIV/AIDS prevalence and mortality
  • Geographical coverage: Global
  • Time span: Mostly 1990-2011, but some data goes back as far as 1980
  • Available at: Here are data on the share of adults with AIDS.
  • Gapminder also published an extensive documentation of their data, which is online here.
# USAID Demographic and Health Surveys
  • Data: Survey data
  • Geographical coverage: Global
  • Time span: Since the 1980s for some countries
  • Available at: Online here
# United States Census Bureau in partnership with USAID
  • Data: Data on prevalence and incidence
  • Geographical coverage: Global
  • Time span: Since 1980s for some countries
  • Available at: Online here