Statistics on HIV/AIDS

The epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in Switzerland and globally


In 2018, there will be a further decline in HIV diagnoses. An increased testing regime, particularly of exposed groups, ever-earlier treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) seem to have triggered a trend reversal.

  • Around 17,000 people in Switzerland live with HIV.
  • In 2018, 425 new HIV diagnoses were made in Switzerland – 5% less than in the previous year. This number of diagnoses constitutes an historic low. The decreasing trend, which has been observed since 2008, continues.
  • The majority of reported HIV cases concerns men: their proportion, at 79%, remains virtually unchanged. In 2018, in common with previous years, sex with other men was cited as the most common route of infection (52.7%) for men diagnosed with HIV. This was followed by heterosexual contacts (29.8%). The use of contaminated injectables for intravenous drug use (IDU) was found in 3.3% of HIV diagnoses in men. In 13.2% of HIV diagnoses in men, the infection route was unable to be determined.
  • Between 2012 and 2018, the number of cases among women with heterosexual transmission declined almost steadily from 131 to 69. Among those women infected heterosexually, 37% were the nationality of a country classified as having a high HIV prevalence, according to WHO criteria. This proportion was lower among men with heterosexual transmission (26%). In Switzerland, it is principally African countries that play a role here, but in some cases also Caribbean countries.

Source: Federal Office of Public Health, date of issue October 2019


  • There are 37.9 million people world-wide living with HIV (2018).
  • Of this number, around 23,3 million have access to antiretroviral therapy. This is an increase of 2 million compared with 2017, and almost 16 million more than in 2010.
  • In 2018, 770'000 people died of AIDS. In 2010, this figure was 1.2 million.
  • There were approximately 1.7 million new HIV infections around the world in 2018 – 100'000 less than in 2017.
  • 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 28% overall compared with 2010.
  • By contrast, the number of new infections in Eastern Europe and central Asia has rocketed by 29% over the past six years.
  • In relation to the UNAIDS 90-90-90* targets, in 2018 79% of those living with HIV around the world were aware of their status, 78% of these people had access to treatment, and 86% displayed viral suppression.

Data by UNAIDS, july 2019