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Will there be more people with HIV/AIDS in 2037 than in 2017?

The human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) are two species of Lentivirus (a subgroup of retrovirus) that causes HIV infection and over time Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype.

HIV/AIDS has had a large impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. The disease also has large economic impacts.[1]

According to UNAIDS, in 2017 (the latest data available) 36.9 million people globally were living with HIV, 1.8 million people became newly infected with HIV, and 940,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. In 2017, 21.7 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase of 2.3 million since 2016, and up from 8 million in 2010.

According to, a UK-based charity, the vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low-income and middle-income countries, with an estimated 66% living in sub-Saharan Africa.[2] Among this group 19.6 million are living in East and Southern Africa which saw 800,000 new HIV infections in 2017.

Since the start of the epidemic, an estimated 77.3 million people have become infected with HIV and 35.4 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses.[3] In 2017, 940,000 people died of AIDS-related illnesses. This number has reduced by more than 51% (1.9 million) since the peak in 2004 and 1.4 million in 2010.

Substantial progress has been made in devising successful therapies against HIV replication that can provide a sustained control of HIV replication.[4] Among them, immunotherapeutic approaches are one of the exciting areas, with surprising recent progress toward a possible permanent eradication of the virus in patients.

This question asks: will the number of people globally living with HIV/AIDS in 2037 be 36.9 million or more, according to the median estimate from UNAIDS?


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