Statistics on HIV/AIDS

The epidemiology of HIV infection: globally and in Switzerland


There was a sharp drop in HIV diagnoses in 2017. More widespread testing among groups of people who are particularly exposed, as well as an increasingly early start to treatment, seem to have triggered a trend reversal.

  • There are currently around 20,000 people in Switzerland living with HIV.
  • 445 new cases of HIV were diagnosed in Switzerland in 2017 – 16% fewer than the previous year. This marks an historical low, and a continuation of the downward trend that we have been seeing since 2008.
  • Women still account for 22% of new diagnoses. Between 2012 and 2017 there was an almost continual fall in the number of women becoming infected via heterosexual sex: from 131 to 69.
  • As in previous years, the most common way for men to contract HIV in 2017 was via sex with other men (53.6%). Heterosexual contact was the second most-common route, at 22.0%. Meanwhile, the use of contaminated needles by intravenous drug users was found to have been the cause of 1.7% of HIV diagnoses among men. The route by which HIV had been contracted could not be established in 20% of diagnoses among men.
  • Among women infected from heterosexual contact, 32% were nationals of a country which is classified under WHO criteria as having a high prevalence of HIV. The main countries of relevance to Switzerland are those south of the Sahara in Africa, and certain Caribbean nations. Less than half as many men infected from heterosexual contact originate from a high-prevalence country (13%).

Source: Federal Office of Public Health, as at November 2018

More information: (German)

Slide shows: HIV und Aids in der Schweiz
only German © Federal Office of Public Health
UNAIDS, Trend of new HIV infections, 2017 Trend of new HIV infections, 2017 - Quelle: UNAIDS / AIDSinfo


  • There are 36.9 million people world-wide living with HIV (2017).
  • Of this number, around 21,7 million have access to antiretroviral therapy. This is an increase of 2.3 million compared with 2016, and almost 14 million more than in 2010.
  • In 2017, 940'000 people died of AIDS. In 2010, this figure was 1.5 million.
  • There were approximately 1.8 million new HIV infections around the world in 2017 – the same figure as in 2016.
  • Viewed globally, the greatest decline in new infections has been in eastern and southern Africa, where half of all people with HIV live – numbers are down by 30% overall compared with 2010.

  • By contrast, the number of new infections in Eastern Europe and central Asia has rocketed by 30% over the past six years.
  • In relation to the UNAIDS 90-90-90* targets, in 2017 75% of those living with HIV around the world were aware of their status, 79% of these people had access to treatment, and 81% displayed viral suppression.

Data by  UNAIDS, july 2017

*90-90-90 targets
UNAIDS embarked on its ‘90-90-90’ programme in 2014. Its objective is that, by 2020, 90 percent of those living with HIV will be aware of their status, 90% of those who have been diagnosed with HIV will be receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART), and 90 percent of those in treatment will have a viral load that is #undetectable. UNAIDS 90-90-90