Prevalence of HIV, female (% ages 15-24)

Definition: Prevalence of HIV is the percentage of people who are infected with HIV. Youth rates are as a percentage of the relevant age group.

Description: The map below shows how Prevalence of HIV, female (% ages 15-24) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Swaziland, with a value of 15.50. The country with the lowest value in the world is Ireland, with a value of 0.10.

Source: UNAIDS estimates.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Limitations and Exceptions: The limited availability of data on health status is a major constraint in assessing the health situation in developing countries. Surveillance data are lacking for many major public health concerns. Estimates of prevalence and incidence are available for some diseases but are often unreliable and incomplete. National health authorities differ widely in capacity and willingness to collect or report information.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: HIV prevalence rates reflect the rate of HIV infection in each country's population. Low national prevalence rates can be misleading, however. They often disguise epidemics that are initially concentrated in certain localities or population groups and threaten to spill over into the wider population. In many developing countries most new infections occur in young adults, with young women especially vulnerable. Data on HIV are from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Changes in procedures and assumptions for estimating the data and better coordination with countries have resulted in improved estimates of HIV and AIDS. For example, improved software was used to model the course of HIV epidemics and their impacts, making full use of information on HIV prevalence trends from surveillance data as well as survey data. The software explicitly includes the effect of antiretroviral therapy when calculating HIV incidence and models reduced infectivity among people receiving antiretroviral therapy, which is having a larger impact on HIV prevalence and allowing HIV-positive people to live longer. The software also allows for changes in urbanization over time - important because prevalence is higher in urban areas and because many countries have seen rapid urbanization over the past two decades.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Relevance to gender: In many developing countries most new infections occur in young adults, with young women especially vulnerable.