Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage among all age groups


As of December 2013, an estimated 11.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy. This represented an increase of 2 million people, or 21%, over the number receiving such treatment 12 months earlier. This means that the world is on track towards the 2015 target of 15 million people accessing antiretroviral treatment. Of all persons living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries 36% [34–38%] had obtained antiretroviral therapy in 2013. In the WHO African Region, 37% [35–39%] of people living with HIV were able to access life-saving medicines in 2013. Similarly, 44% [34–50%] in the Region of the Americas, 10% [7–15%] in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 22% [19–25%] in the European Region, 33% [27–39%] in the South-East Asia Region and 32% [24–40%] in the Western Pacific Region were accessing such treatment. It is increasingly clear that everyone infected with HIV will eventually need treatment. With an estimated 35.0 [33.2–37.2] million people now living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries, this represents a significant need to scale up HIV testing and treatment, while continuing to invest in prevention and other programmes to combat new infections.

Among the countries with the largest numbers of people on ART in 2013 were South Africa (22% of all people on ART in low- and middle-income countries were in this country), India (6%), Zimbabwe (6%), Kenya (6%) and Nigeria (6%).

Overall antiretroviral therapy coverage among children was lower than among adults in low- and middle-income countries. Children represented 6% of the people receiving antiretroviral therapy and approximately 10% of the people living with HIV.
Of the 3.2 million [2.9–3.5 million] children estimated to need antiretroviral therapy, only 23% [21–25%] had access to treatment versus 37% of adults [35–39%].

An additional 1.2 million people in high income countries were receiving ART in 2013, bringing the total number of people on ART globally to 12.9 million.


Access to ART has increased rapidly in low- and middle-income countries since 2003 from just 400 000 to 11.7 million by the end of 2013. The estimated ART coverage in low- and middle-income countries increased from 30% in 2012 to 36% in 2013. The greatest increase occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, where ART was uncommon up to 2003 (100 000 people on ART) and increased over 90-fold to 9.1 million in 2013. Regions that have made less progress are those in which the epidemic is predominantly concentrated in populations with lower access and utilization of services, such as sex workers, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men.


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