Seven charts that explain HIV/AIDS crisis in the US and China

World Today

Volunteers in a university in Liaocheng city, East China’s Shandong province painted red ribbons on the sides of their hands during an awareness campaign to mark World AIDS Day, which aims to raise public awareness and support for HIV/AIDS patients and their families, Nov 29, 2015. [Photo/IC]

As the world commemorates World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, both China and the United States are striving to stem the growth of the disease. Take a look at seven charts that examine the epidemic globally, in China, and the United States.

Worldwide, there were about 36.9 million people are living with HIV around the world, and about 2 million new cases of HIV in 2014. In the United States, 1.2 million people lived with HIV in 2012, while about 575,000 live with HIV in China.

World HIV numbers:

People living with HIV in China:

According to latest statistics from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 177,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China as of the end of October.

“The cases of AIDS virus spreading by drug-taking activities continued to decline. It accounts for less than five percent of the new-diagnosed cases this year,” said Wu Zunyou, director of the AIDS Control and Prevention Center of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“However, the cases of sexual transmission still continue to rise. From January to October this year, the spread of AIDS through sexual activities had accounted for 92-93 percent of the total cases.”

new china line hivSource: AIDS Sentinel Surveillance Data in China 2003-2014, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission

HIV transmission rate via sex on rise in China:

While transmission of HIV through blood transmission and mother-to-child transmission in China is down, the rate of contracting the disease through heterosexual and homosexual sex is on the rise.

Condoms, if used consistently and correctly are highly effective at preventing sexual transmission. Also, a daily pill sometimes is prescribed for healthy people to help prevent them from becoming infected by partners who have the virus, something called “pre-exposure prophylaxis.”


Geographic distribution of people living with HIV/AIDS in China in 2014:

Communities in China are still struggling to combat the disease. The number of students in south China’s Guangdong province infected with HIV totaled 231, an increase of 46 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, according to the Guangdong health authority. This has prompted schools in the province to increase HIV prevention education.

new china map hivSource: China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission

US HIV statistics:

Meanwhile in the United States about 12.8 percent of people with HIV do not know they are infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV is spread in the U.S. mainly through having unprotected sex or sharing injection-drug equipment with someone who has the virus.


Where the US needs the most help:

According to the CDC, 14 percent of Americas with HIV are undiagnosed, 60 percent are not engaged in care, 63 percent are not receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 70 percent are not virally supressed.

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13-64 have an HIV test at least once as part of routine health care, and that people seek out testing if they have such risk factors as having had sex with someone whose HIV status they didn’t know.


Many still not receiving antiretroviral therapy:

As of March 2015, there were only about 15 million people living with HIV in the world that were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Cocktails of powerful medications have turned HIV into a manageable chronic disease for many people who can afford them.

Those drugs also reduce the amount of HIV virus circulating in the body, what’s called the “viral load,” often to undetectable levels. That, in turn, reduces their chance of transmitting HIV to sexual partners, one reason that health officials urge early treatment. However there is still no vaccine.


Story compiled with information from the Associated Press.