2021 World AIDS Day report — Unequal, unprepared, under threat: why bold action against inequalities is needed to end AIDS, stop COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics
UNAIDS report shows that people living with HIV face a double jeopardy, HIV and COVID-19, while key populations and children continue to be left behind in access to HIV services.
People living with HIV are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death, yet the vast majority are denied access to COVID-19 vaccines. Key populations and their sexual partners account for 65% of new HIV infections but are largely left out of both HIV and COVID-19 responses—800 000 children living with HIV are not on the treatment they need to keep them alive
Global HIV & AIDS statistics — Fact sheet
GLOBAL HIV STATISTICS
- 28.2 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy as of 30 June 2021.
- 37.7 million [30.2 million–45.1 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2020.
- 1.5 million [1.0 million–2.0 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2020.
- 680 000 [480 000–1.0 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2020.
- 79.3 million [55.9 million–110 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic.
- 36.3 million [27.2 million–47.8 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.
People living with HIV
- In 2020, there were 37.7 million [30.2 million–45.1 million] people living with HIV.
- 36.0 million [28.9 million–43.2 million] adults.
- 1.7 million [1.2 million–2.2 million] children (0–14 years).
- 53% of all people living with HIV were women and girls.
- 84% [67– >98%] of all people living with HIV knew their HIV status in 2020.
- About 6.1 million [4.9 million–7.3 million] people did not know that they were living with HIV in 2020.
People living with HIV accessing antiretroviral therapy
- As of 30 June 2021, 28.2 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy, up from 7.8 million [6.9 million–7.9 million] in 2010.
- In 2020, 73% [56–88%] of all people living with HIV were accessing treatment.
- 74% [57–90%] of adults aged 15 years and older living with HIV had access to treatment, as did 54% [37–69%] of children aged 0–14 years.
- 79% [61–95%] of female adults aged 15 years and older had access to treatment; however, just 68% [52–83%] of male adults aged 15 years and older had access.
- 85% [63– >98%] of pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral medicines to prevent transmission of HIV to their child in 2020.
New HIV infections
- New HIV infections have been reduced by 52% since the peak in 1997.
- In 2020, around 1.5 million [1.0 million–2.0 million] people were newly infected with HIV, compared to 3.0 million [2.1 million–4.2 million] people in 1997.
- Women and girls accounted for 50% of all new infections in 2020.
- Since 2010, new HIV infections have declined by 31%, from 2.1 million [1.5 million–2.9 million] to 1.5 million [1.0 million–2.0 million] in 2020.
- Since 2010, new HIV infections among children have declined by 53%, from 320 000 [210 000–510 000] in 2010 to 150 000 [100 000–240 000] in 2020.
- AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 64% since the peak in 2004 and by 47% since 2010.
- In 2020, around 680 000 [480 000–1 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, compared to 1.9 million [1.3 million–2.7 million] people in 2004 and 1.3 million [910 000–1.9 million] people in 2010.
- AIDS-related mortality has declined by 53% among women and girls and by 41% among men and boys since 2010.
COVID-19 and HIV
- People living with HIV experience more severe outcomes and have higher comorbidities from COVID-19 than people not living with HIV. In mid-2021, most people living with HIV did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines.
- Studies from England and South Africa have found that the risk of dying from COVID-19 among people with HIV was double that of the general population.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two thirds (67%) of people living with HIV. But the COVID-19 vaccines that can protect them are not arriving fast enough. In July 2021, less than 3% of people in Africa had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- COVID-19 lockdowns and other restrictions disrupted HIV testing and in many countries led to steep drops in diagnoses and referrals to HIV treatment.
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reported that, according to data collected at 502 health facilities in 32 African and Asian countries, HIV testing declined by 41% and referrals for diagnosis and treatment declined by 37% during the first COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
- In 2020, key populations (sex workers and their clients, gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, transgender people) and their sexual partners accounted for 65% of HIV infections globally:
- 93% of new HIV infections outside of sub-Saharan Africa.
- 39% of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa.
- The risk of acquiring HIV is:
- 35 times higher among people who inject drugs.
- 34 times higher for transgender women.
- 26 times higher for sex workers.
- 25 times higher among gay men and other men who have sex with men.
- Every week, around 5000 young women aged 15–24 years become infected with HIV.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, six in seven new HIV infections among adolescents aged 15–19 years are among girls. Young women aged 15–24 years are twice as likely to be living with HIV than men. Around 4200 adolescent girls and young women aged 15–24 years became infected with HIV every week in 2020.
- More than one third (35%) of women around the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner at some time in their lives.
- In some regions, women who have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV than women who have not experienced such violence.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls accounted for 63% of all new HIV infections in 2020.
- In 2020, 84% [67– >98%] of people living with HIV knew their HIV status.
- Among people who knew their status, 87% [67– >98%] were accessing treatment.
- And among people accessing treatment, 90% [70– >98%] were virally suppressed.
- Of all people living with HIV, 84% [67– >98%] knew their status, 73% [56–88%] were accessing treatment and 66% [53–79%] were virally suppressed in 2020.
- At the end of 2020, US$ 21.5 billion (in constant 2019 United States dollars) was available for the AIDS response in low- and middle-income countries—around 61% was from domestic sources.
- UNAIDS estimates that US$ 29 billion (in constant 2019 United States dollars) will be required for the AIDS response in low- and middle-income countries, including countries formerly considered to be upper-income countries, in 2025 to get on track to end AIDS as a global public health threat.