While there has been promising progress in the HIV response, children continue to be affected by the epidemic

Of the estimated 37.9 million [confidence bounds: 32.7-44.0 million] people living with HIV worldwide in 2018, 2.8 million [2.0-3.8 million] were children aged 0-19. Each day in 2018, approximately 980 children became infected with HIV and approximately 320 children died from AIDS related causes, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services.

As of 2018, roughly 14.9 million [11.3-19.1 million] children under the age of 18 had lost one or both parents to AIDS. Millions more have been affected by the epidemic, through a heightened risk of poverty, homelessness, school dropout, discrimination and loss of opportunities. These hardships include prolonged illness and death. Of the estimated 770,000 [570,000-1.1 million] people who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2018, 120,000 [75,900-180,000] (or approximately 15 per cent) of them were children under 20 years of age.



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  • Key HIV epidemiology indicators for children and adolescents aged 0-19, 2000-2018

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  • Early Infant Diagnosis for HIV, 2010-2018

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  • ANC-based HIV testing for pregnant women, 2015, 2017 and 2018

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  • Coverage of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), 2010-2018

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  • Coverage of antiretroviral treatment (ART) among children aged 0-14 living with HIV, 2010-2018

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  • Key indicators in adolescent HIV prevention, 2000-2018

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  • Number of children aged 0-17 who have lost one or both parents, by cause, 1990-2018

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  • Per cent of people expressing discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV, 2014-2018

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Data sources + methodology

Global AIDS monitoring 2018

In order to monitor the HIV response and progress towards achieving global goals, countries submit national and subnational data on a host of indicators to the Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) system. Annual submissions are reviewed and validated. Data consist of programmatic data for HIV prevention, testing and treatment. Other indicators require data from population-based surveys and surveys focused on key populations at risk of HIV infection.

For more information, click here.

UNAIDS estimates and Spectrum’s AIDS Impact model

Each year countries update their AIDS Impact Model in Avenir Health’s Spectrum software to develop the latest estimates for the HIV epidemic. Supported by UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF these estimates are used to inform programme and policy decisions for HIV epidemic response.

Useful links:

Nationally representative surveys

Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS), reproductive health surveys, sexual behaviour surveys and other nationally representative surveys are currently used to collect data on HIV and AIDS.