51 Helpful HIV Statistics & Facts to Know in 2020

HIV Statistics

You probably think you know all about HIV and AIDS. After all, you must’ve seen at least a dozen movies on the subject. But, don’t be so sure. There are still many HIV statistics that could surprise and shock you.

HIV is a virus which attacks the cells that help the body fight infections, making the person more vulnerable to other conditions and diseases.

In the past, an HIV diagnosis was like a death sentence. Today, there is still no cure for the virus, but the condition is treatable through the use of medication.

Top Ten HIV Stats to Remember:

  • 1.1 million people have HIV in the USA.
  • 79% of people who have HIV are aware of their status.
  • The number of white gay and bisexual men with HIV decreased by 14%.
  • 54% of new HIV infections were among key populations.
  • Since the early 90s, cannabis has been used as a treatment for HIV complications.
  • Tuberculosis is the number one cause of death for people with HIV.
  • HIV statistics report that if untreated, HIV will develop into AIDS in 10 years.
  • The US government is the single largest donor to global HIV efforts.
  • 1.7 million children under the age of 15 are HIV positive.
  • South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV.

Want to fact-check your knowledge of HIV?  Or learn some truly astonishing information about the virus? Then, go over these fascinating facts we have prepared for you.

How Common Is HIV in 2019?

1. 37.9 million people across the world are living with HIV.


By the end of 2018, 0.8% of adults (between the ages of 15 and 49) were estimated to have HIV. Admittedly, the numbers vary depending on countries and regions.

2. Almost 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV.


New HIV infections, or HIV incidence, is a term used to represent the number of people who were infected with the virus during a year. This is not the same as being diagnosed with HIV, facts about HIV tell us, as many people might have the virus, but do not know their status.

3. The African region is most affected by HIV.


Almost 1 in every 25 adults in this region are HIV positive, meaning that they account for two-thirds of all people living with HIV and AIDS across the globe.

4. South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV.


7.1 million people have HIV in South Africa and prevalence rates there are 20.4%, HIV/AIDS in Africa facts show. The country has made huge progress in raising people’s awareness and getting them to test for HIV. Today, as a result, 87% of people with HIV are aware of their status.

5. The number of new infections increased by 29% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.


Although HIV incidence has declined in many countries, there are several regions where an increase in HIV transmission rates is noted. For instance, the number of HIV infected people has increased by 10% in the Middle East, HIV transmission statistics reveal, and by 7% in Latin America since 2010.

6. The number of HIV infections worldwide has declined by 16% in the last ten years.


The number of people living with HIV across the world dropped from 2 million HIV+ individuals to 1.7 million between 2010 and the end of 2018. During that same period, HIV prevalence among children declined by 41%.

What About HIV Statistics in the USA?

7. 1.1 million people have HIV in the USA.


Of this number, one in seven, or approximately 14% of the HIV+ population of the USA, were not aware they were infected with the virus.

8. HIV diagnosis remained stable in the USA from 2012 to 2016.


The number of new HIV cases remained stable in the South and West. Fortunately, new HIV infections decreased by 17% in the Northeast and 6% in the Midwest.

9. The South has the highest number of people with HIV.

(CDC) (HIV.gov)

According to HIV statistics by state, there were 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in America, 52% of which were found in the South. In 12 out of 17 southern states, the number of people who were aware they had HIV was lower than the national average.

10. Florida is the US state with the highest HIV prevalence.


4,849 people, both adults and adolescents, were diagnosed with the virus in Florida in 2015, making it the state with the highest number of new HIV cases. What Florida HIV statistics show is that 61.9% of new HIV diagnoses were caused by gay men.

11. California is ranked 2nd in terms of HIV diagnoses.


In 2015, 4,720 California residents were diagnosed with HIV. Texas is ranked third with around 4,476 new HIV cases.

12. New York is the leading city in the USA in terms of new HIV infections.


In 2017, over 2,000 new HIV diagnoses were recorded in New York City, HIV statistics for NYC show. Currently, there are 125,000 people in the city living with HIV, while so far over 100,000 New Yorkers have died from AIDS-related diseases.

Who Is Most at Risk of HIV Infections?

13. 1.7 million children under the age of 15 are HIV positive.


HIV could be transmitted to children through contact with infected blood, although this is very rare nowadays. More commonly, women pass on the virus to their baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

14. According to HIV statistics worldwide, the number of children newly infected with HIV is 160,000.


Although the number of HIV incidence reduced from 280,000 ten years ago, it is still far from the global target of reducing new HIV diagnoses among children to fewer than 40,000.

15. 92% of pregnant women with HIV received therapy to prevent transmission to their babies.


This is a huge improvement compared to the 49% of pregnant women in 2010 who received drug therapy to protect their children from getting infected, global HIV statistics indicate.

16. Young women are twice as likely to have HIV than men.


Approximately 6,200 girls aged from 15 to 24 are infected with HIV on a weekly basis. Actually, data on AIDS in Africa shows that young girls in sub-Saharan Africa make up a quarter of all new HIV infections in that region.

17. 54% of new HIV infections were among key populations.


Key populations include sex workers, men who have sex with other men, people who inject drugs, transgender people, and their partners, HIV/AIDS facts state. In Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, key populations and their sexual partners made up 95% of all new HIV infections.

18. African Americans are most affected by HIV in the USA.


43% of HIV positive US adults are African American, whereas Hispanic/Latinos accounted for 26% of all new HIV cases.

19. African American gay and bisexual men are the subpopulations most affected by HIV.


According to HIV statistics by race, little over 10,000 of the white population of the USA are estimated to have HIV.

20. Gay men and addicts are 22 times more at risk of getting HIV than heterosexuals.


Sex workers are 21 times more likely to be infected with HIV, while transgender people are 12 times more at risk of having the virus, LGBT statistics indicate.

21. Gay and bisexual men made up for 66% of all HIV cases in the US.


24% of all HIV positive individuals were infected through heterosexual sex, HIV statistics for 2016 state, while 6% got the virus through injection drug use. One of the most common misconceptions is that only gay people can get HIV. In fact, anyone who practices sex without a condom or shares needles can become infected with HIV.

22. The number of white gay and bisexual men with HIV decreased by 14%.


On the other hand, the percentage of infected Hispanics/Latino gay and bisexual men increased by 12%, the Center for Disease Control HIV statistics reveal.

23. 1 in 7 HIV-positive persons in the USA passes through the criminal justice system every year.

(National Institute on Drug Abuse) (GMHC)

Around 1.5% of prisoners in the USA are estimated to have HIV or AIDS. The prevalence rate of HIV among inmates is 4 times higher than that of the general population. Living with the virus is difficult in prison as receiving AIDS treatment is hard and the stress of being incarcerated further harms the already weak immune system of prisoners with HIV.

HIV and AIDS Facts and History

24. There are two main types of HIV virus.

(Medical News Today)

HIV-1 is the most common type of HIV and accounts for 95% of all HIV infections in the world. HIV-2 is mostly found in West Africa, although it is also starting to appear in the USA, Europe, and India. Both types of HIV virus are a lifelong condition, but manageable through therapy.

25. HIV infections happen in 3 stages.


According to facts about HIV and AIDS, these are acute HIV infection, chronic HIV infection, and stage 3 — acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.

26. Initial symptoms of HIV are similar to the flu.


The first symptoms usually appear two to six weeks after being infected with the virus. Nevertheless, it can take up to twelve weeks before enough signs show up in tests for the condition to be diagnosed.

27. If untreated, HIV will develop into AIDS in 10 years.


Although it varies from person to person, WHO HIV statistics prove that people with HIV who are not receiving treatment will show signs of HIV-related diseases within 5 to 10 years.

28. Almost 75 million people have been infected with the virus since the start of the HIV epidemic.


Since the official start of the AIDS crisis on June 5, 1981, 74.9 million people have been affected by HIV.

29. The number of HIV infections was the highest in 1997.


Since then, as seen in HIV and AIDS facts, a drop of 40% has been noted in the number of new recorded HIV cases.

HIV Awareness and Treatment

30. 79% of people who have HIV are aware of their status.

(UNAIDS) (HIV.gov)

The number of people with AIDS who knew their status was lower by 4% two years ago. In fact, back then over 9 million people did not know they had the virus. Thanks to awareness campaigns, today that number stands at 8.1 million.

31. Over half of young people were not aware of their status.


Judging from HIV stats USA report, 51% of adolescents between the ages of 13 to 24 didn’t know they had been infected with HIV.

32. 44% of US adults have been tested for HIV.


Raised awareness about the symptoms and transmission of this condition has greatly contributed to reducing how many people in the USA live with HIV. Today, HIV education is mandatory in 34 states in the USA and the District of Columbia.

33. Globally, 23.3 million people accessed therapy in 2018.


HIV statistics for 2018 indicate that 62% of HIV+ individuals received treatment and 53% were virally suppressed. That means their viral load was reduced to an undetectable level.

34. More than half of HIV patients in the USA achieved viral suppression.


It is shown that in the U.S., 63% of people got HIV treatment, while 49% of them received continuous HIV care.

35. 54% of children with HIV around the world have access to treatment.


This percentage is even lower in Western and Central Africa, HIV statistics suggest, where only 28% of children between the ages of 0 and 14 receive treatment.

36. The number of children accessing treatment doubled since 2010.


Around 940,000 children living with the virus accessed HIV and AIDS treatment. for their condition in 2018.

37. Approximately 68% of adult females living with HIV get ART therapy.


More women than men have access to HIV treatment. It is estimated that only 55% of male adults had access, which is 13% less than women, HIV and AIDS statistics report.

38. Almost 99% of HIV infections can be prevented through consistent use of PrEP.


PeEP is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Its continuous use is shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission rates by 74% through injection drug use and 99% through sex.

Cannabis and HIV

39. Since the early 90s, cannabis has been used as a treatment for HIV complications.

(Verywell Health)

Cannabis users report significant improvements both in alleviating some of the symptoms of HIV and complications arising from the virus, HIV and AIDS facts state, as well as offering relief from the side effects of ART therapy.

40. People who experience the benefits of smoking weed are 3.3 times more likely to stick to their HIV meds.

(Verywell Health)

In addition to appetite loss, side effects of antiretroviral drug use include severe gastrointestinal pain, chronic fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Cannabis helps HIV patients better manage these symptoms via smoking it or using it as CBD oil.

41. HIV patients using cannabis reported a 97% improvement in their appetite.


According to legitimate research, and not just common HIV facts and myths, HIV patients who used marijuana reported a 90% improvement in nerve pain and 85% in paresthesia. In addition, muscle pain and nausea reduced by over 90% among the HIV positive participants in the study.

42. Cannabis use helps treat symptoms of HIV wasting syndrome.

(Verywell Health)

HIV wasting syndrome is characterized by severe weight loss among people living with the virus.  Despite the use of ART therapy, the prevalence of this syndrome still affects 34% of people with the disease, HIV statistics suggest. One of the benefits of marijuana is a considerable improvement in this condition.

43. Using cannabis reduced anxiety by 93% among HIV+ individuals.


Anxiety and depression usually accompany all chronic medical conditions and HIV is no exception. Studies indicate that marijuana benefits sufferers by significantly alleviating some of the symptoms of mood disorders.

44. Smoking cannabis reduced HIV-related daily pain levels by 34%.


Smoking weed also reduced chronic pain levels among HIV patients by 74%, some of the more HIV interesting facts show. What is more, over half of the patients admitted feeling better after using cannabis.

45. Cannabis is proven to have no negative effects on CD4 cell count in people living with HIV.


CD4 cells are the type of white blood cells that helps the body fight infections. A high CD4 count stops HIV complications so this is another way that marijuana benefits HIV+ individuals.

HIV and AIDS-Related Deaths

46. 15,807 HIV infected people died in 2016, CDC HIV statistics reveal.


In 2016, the number of how many people died from AIDS-related diseases in the United States alone was almost 16,000.

47. AIDS-related diseases were responsible for 770,000 deaths in the past year.

(UNAIDS) (amfAR)

From that number, 100,000 were children under the age of 15. Since the HIV epidemic started, 32 million people across the world have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

48. AIDS mortality rates declined by 33% in the past decade.


The highest AIDS-related mortality rates were recorded in 2004, HIV/AIDS statistics suggest. Since then, that percentage has declined by 55%.

49. Tuberculosis is the number one cause of death for people with HIV.


It is estimated TB is responsible for 1 in 3 of all people dying from AIDS.

50. A quarter of people with HIV also have Hepatitis C.

(National Institute on Drug Abuse)

The Hepatitis C virus is mostly spread through contact with infected blood. In the USA, HCV is mainly found among injection drug users. An HCV and HIV coinfection, HIV stats prove, leads to accelerated progression of liver disease.

51. The US government is the single largest donor to global HIV efforts.

(HIV.gov)  (UNAIDS)

According to the fact sheet of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, the US government provided $19 billion as a response to AIDS in 2018 through PEPFAR. The US alone has invested over $28b annually in the domestic response to HIV in an effort to reduce the number of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.

To Sum Up

The latest HIV statistics deliver good news. Thanks to the US and international awareness campaigns, people are now more knowledgeable about the causes and symptoms of HIV. They also have more information about how it is transmitted and what needs to be done to prevent HIV infections. As a result, there is a decrease in how many people have HIV every year.

However, this is still a major health threat and it is important to have all the HIV facts and be as informed as possible.

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