In the lead-up to World AIDS Day, marked each December 1, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has launched a series of billboards highlighting global HIV and AIDS statistics. The images mimic vintage fuel pump counters, as a visual reminder that the numbers continue to advance.

According to an AHF press release, statistics about the epidemic arrive from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Three different billboards state: “1,000,000 AIDS Deaths in 2016,” “1,800,000 New HIV Cases in 2016” and “20,000,000 Untreated HIV Cases in 2016.”

The billboards will be displayed through mid-November in Los Angeles; Brooklyn, New York; Atlanta; Washington, DC; and South Florida.

“Each year as we commemorate World AIDS Day, we like to stop and assess the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS around the world and identify those areas where our efforts still need to be refocused and intensified,” said AHF president Michael Weinstein in the press release. “As AHF celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and the milestone of having over 820,000 patients in our care across the globe, we are encouraged that millions of lives have been saved through targeted prevention efforts, testing and breakthrough medical treatments. However, the prescription drugs required to treat HIV/AIDS and many other chronic diseases remain out of reach for many governments, insurers and individuals due to Big Pharma’s endless pursuit of profits at the expense of people in need. This unconscionable price gouging must be stopped. These billboards are meant to be a stark reminder that real lives are at stake in our challenge to win the decades-long fight against this global epidemic.”

AHF’s billboards arrive before World AIDS Day, December 1.Courtesy of AIDS Healthcare Foundation

You can read more HIV-related statistics on the UNAIDS fact sheet. Below are a few highlights:


  • 19.5 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy in 2016.
  • 36.7 million [30.8 million to 42.9 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2016.
  • 1.8 million [1.6 million to 2.1 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2016.
  • 1 million [830,000 to 1.2 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2016.
  • 76.1 million [65.2 million to 88.0 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic.
  • 35.0 million [28.9 million to 41.5 million] people have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

People living with HIV

  • In 2016, there were 36.7 million [30.8 million to 42.9 million] people living with HIV.
    • 34.5 million [28.8 million to 40.2 million] adults
    • 17.8 million [15.4 million to 20.3 million] women (15+ years)
    • 2.1 million [1.7 million to 2.6 million] children (<15 years)