Just over half (52 per cent) of children under 15 years of age living with HIV are on antiretroviral medications.

Fast fact:
  • Of the 1.8 million children living with HIV globally, only 52% are receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART)

Globally, children under age 15 account for about 5 per cent of all people living with HIV, 10 per cent of new HIV infections and 11 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths. Children under 1 year of age are among those most vulnerable to HIV. Evidence shows that early initiation of antiretroviral drugs in infants with HIV can save lives; yet, coverage of critical intervention among children remains too low. While there has been slow progress reported in scaling up access to treatment for children living with HIV, the 90-90-90 treatment targets call for 90% of those living with HIV to know their status, 90% of those who know their status to be on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment to be virally suppressed.  Renewed focus has been called to strategically target more decentralized diagnostics and clinical management for children exposed and living with HIV, as well as integration with maternal, child and adolescent services at facilities and within communities.



  • HIV epidemiology among children and adolescents

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  • Early infant HIV diagnosis

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  • ANC-based HIV testing for pregnant women

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  • Percentage of pregnant women living with HIV receiving most effective ARVs for PMTCT

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  • HIV positive children (aged 0-14) receiving antiretroviral therapy

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  • Adolescents aged 15-19 who were tested for HIV in the last 12 months and received the results

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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.

Spectrum/EPP estimate modelling

UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF are using the Futures Institute’s modelling software, Spectrum/EPP, to generate estimates, which support policy decisions concerning public health. Spectrum includes modules for HIV estimates and projections.

  • For more information, click here.
  • For estimates methodology, click here.

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.