Q. How many people become infected with HIV each year in the United States?
A. About 50,000 people get infected with HIV each year. In 2010, there were around 47,500 new HIV infections in the United States.
Q. How many people are living with HIV in the United States?
A. About 1.1 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2010, the most recent year this information was available. Of those people, about 16% do not know they are infected.
Q. How does CDC know who is infected but does not know it?
A. CDC estimates the number of people living with HIV (called prevalence) by using a scientific model. This model helps CDC estimate the number of new HIV infections and how many people are infected but don’t know it. HIV prevalence is the number of people living with HIV infection at a given time, such as at the end of a given year. More information on HIV prevalence.
Q. How does HIV affect different groups of people?
A. There are different ways to answer this question.
If we look at HIV infection by race and ethnicity, we see that African Americans are most affected by HIV. In 2010, African Americans made up only 12% of the US population, but had 44% of all new HIV infections. Additionally, Hispanic/Latinos are also strongly affected. They make up 17% of the US population, but had 21% of all new HIV infections.
If we look at HIV infections by how people got the virus (transmission category), we see that men who have sex with men (MSM) are most at risk. In 2010, MSM had 63% of all new HIV infections, even though they made up only around 2% of the population. Individuals infected through heterosexual sex made up 25% of all new HIV infections in 2010.
Combining those two views allows us to see the most affected populations, by race and by risk factor.
Figure 1: Estimated New HIV Infections in the United States, 2010, for the Most Affected Subpopulations
There are also variations by age. Young people, aged 13-24 are especially affected by HIV. They comprised 16% of the US population, but accounted for 26% of all new HIV infections in 2010. All young people are not equally at risk, however. Young MSM, for example, accounted for 72% of all new infections in people aged 13-24, and young, African American MSM are even more severely affected.
CDC’s fact sheets explain the impact of HIV on various populations in the United States.
Q. Do people still die from HIV?
A. Yes. In the United States, about 15,500 people with AIDS died in 2010. HIV disease remains a significant cause of death for certain populations. To date, more than 635,000 individuals with AIDS in the United States have died.
Q. Do parts of the country have more HIV than other parts?
A. Yes. HIV is largely an urban disease, with most cases occurring in metropolitan areas with 500,000 or more people. The South has the highest number of individuals living with HIV, but when you take population size into account, the Northeast has the highest rate of persons living with new HIV infections. (Rates are the number of cases of disease per 100,000 people. Rates allow comparisons between two groups of different sizes.)
HIV and AIDS in the United States by Geographic Distribution is a fact sheet that explains the geography of HIV in the United States.
Q. What about HIV around the world?
A. HIV disease continues to be a serious health issue for parts of the world. Worldwide, there were about 2.3 million new cases of HIV in 2012. About 35.3 million people are living with HIV around the world. In 2012, more than 9.7 million people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries had access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). An estimated 1.6 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2012, and an estimated 36 million people with AIDS have died worldwide since the epidemic began. Sub-Saharan Africa bears the biggest burden of HIV/AIDS, with nearly 1 in 20 adults living with HIV. Other regions significantly affected by HIV/AIDS include Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South and Southeast Asia.
CDC’s Global AIDS web site explains what CDC is doing in countries where HIV and AIDS have had great impact.