Epidemiology of HIV Infection in the Developing World

  • Authors: Sunil Solomon, MBBS, PhD, MPH (More Info)
  • Editors in Chief: Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD; Joseph J. Eron, Jr., MD
  • Last Reviewed: 11/1/21 (What's New)


  • First cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, and HIV was identified as the etiologic agent in 1983.[CDC 1981; Barré-Sinoussi 1983; Gallo 1984]
  • UNAIDS estimated 37.7 million people were living with HIV worldwide in 2020 (Figure 1), including 1.7 million children younger than 15 years[UNAIDS 2021]
  • Approximately two thirds of all people with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa,[UNAIDS 2021] but new infections have decreased there by 38% since 2010[UNAIDS 2021; UNAIDS Data Book 2020]

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