People Living with HIV
San Francisco has one of the largest populations of people living with HIV in the United States with an estimated 15,952 people living with HIV.
Of the total number of San Franciscans living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2017, 9,227 were living with HIV ever classified as AIDS. AIDS is a late-stage of HIV disease defined by a low count of CD4 cells or an opportunistic infection.
In 2017, 65% of people living with HIV in San Francisco were over age 50. In 2005, only 38% of those living with HIV were over 50.
In 2017, there were 221 new HIV diagnoses, a decrease in number from recent years.
Of those newly diagnosed with HIV in 2017, 86% identified as male, 74% were men who have sex with men, a majority (51%) were between 25-39 years old, and 38% were white.
In the past five years, there have been small increases in the proportion of Latinos (20% in 2011 to 25% in 2017) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (8% to 13%) who make up new HIV diagnoses.
African Americans are disproportionately represented among new HIV infections. While Black San Franciscans are only 6% of the city’s population, they represented 17% of new diagnoses in 2017.
The percentage of people diagnosed with HIV who are experiencing homelessness has fluctuated in recent years but is increasing overall. In 2017, 14% of people diagnosed with HIV did not have housing at the time of their diagnosis (compared to 9%, 39 people, in 2011).
Neighborhoods showing the most new HIV diagnoses are located in central parts of the city in the Castro, Tenderloin, and South of Market. The Castro had the highest newly diagnosed rate (181 per 100,000 people), followed by the Tenderloin (171 per 100,000) and South of Market (136 per 100,000).
People were diagnosed with HIV in 2017
of people diagnosed with HIV were younger than 30
of newly diagnosed people become virally suppressed in a year
HIV Care & Viral Suppression
Nearly three-quarters (71%) of all newly diagnosed people living with HIV are engaged in ongoing HIV care for three to nine months after their first medical visit.
Among all people living with HIV in San Francisco, 74% have their virus under control (are virally suppressed) compared to 64% in California. People who are virally suppressed have better health outcomes and do not transmit HIV to other people.
On average, 75% of people diagnosed with HIV from 2013 to 2016 (known to reside in San Francisco at the end of 2016) were virally suppressed within a year of diagnosis in San Francisco. Neighborhoods that fall below this average include Visitacion Valley (60%), Potrero Hill (62%), Diamond Heights (65%), and South of Market (67%).
Only 32% of people who are homeless are virally suppressed. People who inject drugs also have lower rates of viral suppression (67%).
Survival after AIDS diagnosis is worse for African Americans than for other racial/ethnic groups. The five-year survival probability among people diagnosed with AIDS between 2006 and 2015 was 80% for African Americans compared to 87% for whites, 91% for Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
In California, an estimated 151,493 people were living with HIV in 2016. About 87% (132,405 people) had been diagnosed, and 54% (81,397) had achieved viral suppression.
Younger people (between the ages of 13 and 24) had the lowest rates of viral suppression (52%) and people over the age of 65 had the highest rates (68%). Men were more likely to be virally suppressed than women (62% versus 59%) and white, Asian and multiracial Californians were more likely to be virally suppressed than African American and Latino Californians.
In the United States, an estimated 1.1 million people were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2015. About 15% (or about one in seven people, or 162,500 people total) don’t know they’re infected.
There were an estimated 38,500 new HIV infections in 2015. There has been an 8% decrease in new infections from 2010 to 2015.
In 2016, an estimated 18,160 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Since the epidemic began in the early 1980s, an estimated 1,232,346 people have been diagnosed with AIDS. In 2015, there were 6,465 HIV-related deaths.
California Department of Public Health, Center for Infectious Diseases, Office of AIDS. California HIV Surveillance Report, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimated HIV Incidence and Prevalence in the United States 2010 – 2015.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics Overview. Accessed September, 2017.
San Francisco Department of Public Health Population Health Division. HIV Epidemiology Annual Report. 2017.