Global Mortality and Morbidity from HIV/AIDS

Authors: Kristen Danforth, Reuben Granich, Danielle Wideman, Sanjiv Baxi, Nancy Padian


Remarkable progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS, especially now that medications have become affordable. The drive to end the epidemic has resulted in the expansion of surveillance. AIDS is the sixth-leading cause of death globally and the leading cause in Sub-Saharan Africa. With earlier initiation of ART and improved access to care, persons with HIV are living longer and therefore are experiencing the health consequences of aging. A central focus of the new UNAIDS goals is a 75 percent reduction in new infections (compared with 2010) by 2030. In 2012, 91.9 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) were lost worldwide because of HIV/AIDS, second only to diarrhea in terms of morbidity from infectious disease. Necessary data for surveillance and monitoring present a challenge in determining if interventions are achieving targeted goals, especially in terms of microepidemics, pockets of illness concentrated among specific populations and smaller subnational geographic regions, in India, East and Southern Africa, and the United States.