AIDS overview

Global statistics

In 2014:

  • There were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV, of which 2.6 million were children;
  • Approximately 2 million people were newly infected by HIV, 220 000 of which were children. Most of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and were infected via HIV-positive mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding;
  • Approximately 1.2 million people died from HIV-related causes globally;
  • Approximately 150 million children and adults in 129 low – and middle – income countries received HIV testing services. It is estimated that only 53% of people with HIV currently know of their status;
  • Only 40% of people living with HIV were receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART);
  • 73% of pregnant women living with HIV globally received medicines that prevent transmission to their babies;
  • Only 32% of children in need of retreatment received such treatment, as compared to 41% of adults, pointing to a large gap between services for adults and children living with HIV.
  • As of March 2015, 15 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral treatment (including 823000 children), representing 41% of those in need. 13.5 million of these people lived in countries of low- or middle- income;
  • Between 2000 and 2015, new HIV infections fell by 35% and AIDS-related deaths fell by 24%, with some 7.8 million lives saved as a result of international efforts, meeting the Millennium Development Goals for Development target for HIV.
  • Currently, HIV has led to the death of over 34 million people;
  • The expansion of antiretroviral treatment to all people living with HIV, and the development of prevention policies could help avert 21 million AIDS-related deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030. The World Health Organization (WHO) are currently working on a new strategy for a global response to HIV from the health sector between 2016 to 2021.

Statistics in India

Along with Africa and Peru, India is one of the regions most affected by the HIV virus: with 2.1 million people contaminated, India has the third highest level of national infection. 

It would be easy to underestimate the challenge HIV/AIDS poses in India.India has a large population and high population density, low literacy levels and consequently low levels of awareness, so that HIV / AIDS is one of the most challenging public health problems the country has ever faced.

Over the past 15 years the estimated number of cases of HIV infection has sharply increased in India. From just a few thousand cases at the beginning of the 1990s, approximately 4.6 million people were infected by the virus in 2003 (according to UNAIDS). Campaigners say that every minute twenty-three people are infected with the virus.

. The official number given by the Indian government in 2006 was 5.6 million people infected. In 2007, without the backing of reliable research, the number was lowered to 2.3 million people infected. It is important to recall that these statistics only account for the population aged between 15-49 years old, and in India over 30% of the population are under 18 years old! In 2009 the guidebook for tourists, Lonely Planet, spoke of approximately 20 million people living with HIV in India. Local NGOs place the figure even higher, in the region of 15 million people affected.

sida apercu globalIt goes without saying that all estimations are relative. The very nature of HIV means that a great number of people who are infected and contagious without being aware of the fact and may not manifest any symptoms for a number of years. The infamy linked to seropositivity also leads many people to hide their illness for as long as they are able to do so. For these reasons, statistics involve a great amount of projection and their precision is entirely relative. The figures may need to be revised much higher. What is sure is that with a population of over one billion people, the epidemic of HIV in India has a major impact on the propagation of HIV in Asia, the Pacific, and indeed the world.

Retrieving data on the number of children made orphans by AIDS is no easy task either. It is generally thought that the proportion of children made orphans by AIDS is much lower than is found in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, because of the enormous population in India, the actual number of children already orphaned by AIDS is extremely high. In 2001, the number of orphaned children was already estimated to be at 1.2 million.

In 85% of cases, the virus is transmitted via sexual relations, 4% from mother to child, 2% through blood transfusions, and 2% through the sharing of syringes. Each year, approximately 21000 children are infected by their mothers.