People living with HIV

Export Indicator

Estimated number of people living with HIV
What it measures

This indicator measures the current burden of HIV in a population.

  • Estimating the number of people living with HIV is the basis for programme planning and resource needs assessments.
  • This figure represents the denominator for key programmatic indicators and response and is used in calculations.

Estimated number of people infected with HIV and who are alive

Method of measurement

Mathematical modelling tools, such as Spectrum AIM, generate age- and gender-specific estimates of the numbers of people living with HIV. UNAIDS recommends Spectrum software to estimate these numbers, as its use makes possible comparable estimates across countries and ensures that the latest understanding of the HIV epidemic and the science is being used to create the estimates.

Tools within Spectrum AIM also can estimate the size of key populations living with HIV. However, these results require inputs that are not available in many countries. Alternative approaches for rough estimates of the size of key populations living with HIV in local areas may be derived from key population survey data that provide HIV prevalence data for specific groups combined with estimates of total population size for the same area (see indicator B1.2). In contrast, national estimates of the size of key populations living with HIV require modelling and data triangulation, due to the limitations of sampling key populations in probability surveys that provide nationally representative results.

  • Gender (male, female, transgender)
  • Age (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-49, 50+)
  • Key populations (men who have sex with men, people living in prisons and other closed settings, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people) and adolescent girls and young women.
Further information