The global context

Internationally, HIV is a significant threat to development and stability, with around 40 million deaths to date.

In many regions, HIV-related deaths have caused a demographic imbalance due to the impact on people in their most productive years, with resulting social and economic implications. HIV continues to devastate families, communities and nations.

UNAIDS suggests the global epidemic is stabilising but at an unacceptably high level. According to the UNAIDS Fact Sheet: 2014 Global Statistics, there were an estimated 36.9 million people living with HIV in 2014 (most recent data). 

The annual number of new HIV infections has declined from approximately 3.1 million in 2000 to around 2 million in 2014.

This decline is in part due to the rollout of antiretroviral therapies globally. By March 2015, 15 million people had access to HIV treatments, which significantly reduce the likelihood that people will pass the virus on to others as well as improving their quality of life and life expectancy.

This rollout of treatments has also resulted in the death rate from AIDS falling by 42% since the peak in 2004 (from 2 million deaths in 2005 to 1.2 million deaths in 2014).