Back HIV/AIDS Epidemiology HIV Infections Fall by 33% Overall, 52% Among Children Since 2001, Says UNAIDS

HIV Infections Fall by 33% Overall, 52% Among Children Since 2001, Says UNAIDS


HIV incidence, or new infections, have decreased by more than one-third overall and by half among children over the past decade, and widening access to antiretroviral therapy has helped push AIDS-related mortality down by 30% since its peak in 2005, according to a new report released today by UNAIDS. The report also looks at HIV/AIDS funding, legal restrictions on people with HIV, and other challenges to ending the epidemic.

Below is an edited excerpt from a UNAIDS press release describing the report's findings in more detail. The full report, as well as a fact sheet summary, are available online.

UNAIDS Reports a 52% Reduction in New HIV Infections Among Children and a Combined 33% Reduction Among Adults and Children Since 2001

World closing in on Millennium Development Goal 6, globally the AIDS epidemic has been halted and reversed -- race is on to reach universal access to HIV treatment.

Geneva -- September 23, 2013 -- As world leaders prepare to meet at the United Nations General Assembly to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals -- a new report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows dramatic acceleration towards reaching 2015 global targets on HIV.  

New HIV infections among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33% reduction since 2001. New HIV infections among children have been reduced to 260,000 in 2012, a reduction of 52% since 2001. AIDS-related deaths have also dropped by 30% since the peak in 2005 as access to antiretroviral treatment expands.

By the end of 2012, some 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase of nearly 20% in just one year. In 2011, UN Member States agreed to a 2015 target of reaching 15 million people with HIV treatment. However, as countries scaled up their treatment coverage and as new evidence emerged showing the HIV prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy, the World Health Organization set new HIV treatment guidelines, expanding the total number of people estimated to be in need of treatment by more than 10 million.

"Not only can we meet the 2015 target of 15 million people on HIV treatment -- we must also go beyond and have the vision and commitment to ensure no one is left behind," said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Significant results have also been achieved towards meeting the needs of tuberculosis (TB) patients living with HIV, as TB-related deaths among people living with HIV have declined by 36% since 2004.

Despite a flattening in donor funding for HIV, which has remained around the same as 2008 levels, domestic spending on HIV has increased, accounting for 53% of global HIV resources in 2012. The total global resources available for HIV in 2012 was estimated at US$ 18.9 billion, US$ 3-5 billion short of the US$ 22-24 billion estimated to be needed annually by 2015. 

As well as outlining new global HIV estimates, the 2013 UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic reviews progress on ten specific targets which were set by United Nations Member States in the 2011 UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS.

The report finds that progress has been slow in ensuring the respect of human rights, securing access to HIV services for people most at risk of HIV infection, particularly people who use drugs, and in preventing violence against women and girls -- a key factor in vulnerability to HIV. Gender inequality, punitive laws and discriminatory actions are continuing to hamper national responses to HIV and concerted efforts are needed to address these persistent obstacles to the scale up of HIV services for people most in need.

In 2012, an estimated:

  • 35.3 million [32.2 million - 38.8 million] people globally were living with HIV;
  • 2.3 million [1.9 million - 2.7 million] people became newly infected with HIV;
  • 1.6 million [1.4 million - 1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

The 2013 UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic is available on line at



UNAIDS. Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic.2013.

Other Source

UNAIDS. UNAIDS Reports a 52% Reduction in New HIV Infections Among Children and a Combined 33% Reduction Among Adults and Children Since 2001. Press release. September 23, 2013.