Updated 26 June 2014

HIV/Aids in numbers

An estimated 34 million people worldwide had HIV in 2010. Our world map depicts how HIV/Aids affects nations across the world.


According to UNAIDS data, an estimated 34 million people worldwide were HIV-positive in 2010. This is up 17% from 2001 when 28.6 million people were living with HIV.

Regional breakdown


  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region hardest hit by HIV, with 22.9 million HIV-positive people in 2010, about 68% of the global total.
  • The number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped by more than 26%, to 1.9 million in 2010, down from an estimated 2.6 million in 1997.
  • South Africa has more people with HIV than any other country in the world, an estimated 5.6 million cases.
  • There were 1.2 million Aids-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010.
  • Aids has killed at least a million people each year in the region since 1998.


  • Although rates of HIV are lower in Asia than in some other regions, the size of the Asian population means it has the second largest group of people living with HIV.
  • There are 4 million people living with HIV in South and South East Asia, and there were 270,000 new infections in the region and 250,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2010,
  • Since the epidemic's peak in 1996, there has been a 40% decline in new HIV infections in this region.
  • In East Asia, 790,000 people have HIV. There were 56,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2010. In this region, there has been an increase in new HIV infections to 88,000 in 2010 from 74,000 in 2001.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

  • Since 2001, the number of people living with HIV in this region has increased to 1.5 million in 2010 from 410,000 in 2001.
  • Russia and Ukraine account for nearly 90% of the regional epidemic.
  • In 2010, an estimated 90,000 adults and children died of Aids, up from 7,800 in 2001. Injecting drug use remains the leading cause of HIV infection in this region.

Middle East and North Africa

  • There are 470,000 adults and children with HIV in 2010 in this region, up from 320,000 in 2001. New infections also rose to 59,000 in 2010 from 43,000 in 2001, and deaths from Aids increased to 35,000 in 2010 from 22,000 in 2001.

Sources: UNAIDS/Reuters

(November 2011)


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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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