Last updated 28 November 2019

In 2018, approximately 770,000 people died of AIDS related illnesses.Even though this number may sound shocking, it is surprisingly good news: AIDS-related mortality declined by 33% since 2010.2 In those short eight years, incredible progress in expanding low- and middle-income countries’ access to HIV treatment was made.

The persisting challenge of HIV/AIDS

HIV carriers can live long, fulfilling lives with the effective treatment we have today. The problem is getting infected people the help they need. In the countries hardest hit by HIV, access to one of the few healthcare centres that can diagnose, treat, and follow up HIV patient care is extremely limited.

For example, in western and central Africa in 2018, not quite one-third of children living with HIV received the antiretroviral therapy that can keep them strong.3 On a positive note, 61% of all people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral treatment.4 While there is no cure for HIV, treatment keeps the virus under control, strengthening the immune system and helping to prevent transmission.

  • 37.9 million people globally living with HIV in 20185
  • 10 countries shoulder 50% of the HIV burden: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe6
  • 53% of people with HIV who are receiving treatment have achieved viral suppression7

Swipe the slider to the left or right side to explore the 90-90-90 goals

Working in partnership towards an AIDS-free generation

In 2014, UNAIDS announced new goals to end AIDS.

We are working hard with UNAIDS so that by 2020, all people living with HIV will:

  • know their HIV status;
  • be connected to effective, high-quality HIV treatment services;
  • achieve viral load suppression.

The UNAIDS goals acknowledge that diagnosis is the first step.

diagnosed ...of people living with HIV know their HIV status
on treatment ...of people who know their status receive treatment
virally suppressed ...of people on HIV treatment have a suppressed viral load

We believe in expanding HIV diagnostics to where it is most needed. Our Global Access Program (GAP) for HIV viral load testing, founded with UNAIDS and other partner organisations, supports the 90-90-90 goals. Our dedication to stamping out AIDS further led to a total of 1.5 million infant diagnosis tests using Roche assays in 2015. We thus introduced a new part of the program to formally include early infant HIV diagnostic testing. In 2016, we incorporated the newest automated systems to extend our reach.

This agreement with Roche Diagnostics is a powerful step towards ending the unconscionable failure of the world to meet the treatment needs of children living with HIV. We now need to use this agreement to rapidly scale up diagnostic and treatment services for all children living with HIV, in line with the 90-90-90 target.
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

GAP is working together with AmpliCare, an initiative that focuses on the complete continuum of care, from testing to monitoring and education, and works to optimise efforts on a regional basis.

I believe that as a healthcare company, we can be an important part of the solution to improve access to quality medicines and diagnostic tests. But we cannot do this alone.
The barriers to accessing healthcare provision are multiple and complex. We are working in partnerships all over the world to overcome these barriers, be they infrastructure, affordability, training, supply or awareness.
Severin Schwan, CEO Roche


1, 2, 3, 4, 5. UNAIDS. Fact Sheet - World AIDS Day 2019. [Internet; cited 2019 November 28]. Available from

6. UNAIDS. Infographic. [Internet; cited 2019 November 28]. Available from

7. UNAIDS. 2019 Global AIDS Update, page 76. [Internet; cited 2019 November 28]. Available from

Tags: Society, Africa