Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage among all age groups


As of December 2015, an estimated 17.0 million people globally were receiving antiretroviral therapy. This represented an increase of 2 million people, or 14%, over the number receiving such treatment 12 months earlier. Of all persons living with HIV 46% [43–50%] had obtained antiretroviral therapy in 2015. In the WHO African Region, 47% [43–53%] of people living with HIV were able to access life-saving medicines in 2015. Similarly, 53% [47–60%] in the Region of the Americas, 11% [8–17%] in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 40% [38–44%] in the European Region, 39% [33–46%] in the South-East Asia Region and 47% [37–66%] 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 36.7 [34.0–39.8] million people now living with HIV globally, 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 2015 were South Africa (20% of all people on ART were in this country), India (5%), Kenya (5%), Zimbabwe (5%), Uganda (5%) and Nigeria (5%).

Overall antiretroviral therapy coverage among children was higher than among adults. Children represented 5% of the people receiving antiretroviral therapy and also approximately 5% of the people living with HIV. Of the 1.8 million [1.5–2.0 million] children estimated live with HIV, 49% [42–55%] had access to treatment versus 46% [43–50%] of adults.


Access to ART has increased rapidly since 2005 from just 2.2 million to 17.0 million by the end of 2015. The estimated ART global coverage increased from 7% in 2005 to 46% in 2015. The greatest increase occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, where ART was uncommon up to 2005 (700 000 people on ART) and increased over 1600% to 12.1 million in 2015. 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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