Although strides have been made in the HIV response, children are still affected by the epidemic
Of the estimated 38.4 million [confidence bounds: 33.9–43.8 million] people living with HIV worldwide in 2021, 2.73 million [2.06–3.47 million] were children aged 0–19. Each day in 2021, approximately 850 children became infected with HIV and approximately 301 children died from AIDS related causes, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services.
As of 2021, roughly 14.9 million [11.9–18.3 million] children under the age of 18 had lost one or both parents to AIDS-related causes. Millions more have been affected by the epidemic, through a heightened risk of poverty, homelessness, school dropout, discrimination and loss of opportunities, as well as COVID-19. These hardships include prolonged illness and death. Of the estimated 650,000 [510,000–860,000] people who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2021, 110,000 [80,000–160,000] (or approximately 17 per cent) of them were children under 20 years of age.
Data sources + methodology
Global AIDS monitoring 2022
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.
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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.
Methods for HIV modelling are developed by the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections.
All available data on HIV estimates are available at aidsinfo.unaids.org.
Nationally representative surveys
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS), Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIA) reproductive health surveys, sexual behaviour surveys and other nationally representative surveys are currently used to collect data on HIV and AIDS.