C. neoformans infections are very rare, especially among healthy people; the yearly incidence is between 0.4 and 1.3 cases per 100,000 people in the general population. However, C. neoformans infections are more common among people with HIV/AIDS. In the U.S., the yearly incidence among people with HIV/AIDS is estimated to be between 2 and 7 cases per 1,000 people. In the U.S. and other developed nations, the incidence of C. neoformans cryptococcosis has been decreasing among persons with HIV/AIDS due to the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Mortality due to C. neoformans infections in the U.S. and other developed nations is around 12%.
Worldwide, C. neoformans infections cause an estimated 1 million cases of cryptococcal meningitis per year among people with HIV/AIDS, resulting in nearly 625,000 deaths. The greatest burden of disease occurs in sub–Saharan Africa, where mortality is estimated to be 50% to 70%.