Children and AIDS

The situation

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The situation

© UNICEF/UNI197921/Schermbrucker

Adult HIV prevalence on the mainland reduced significantly although this reduction has occurred mainly among men. The epidemic among adolescents (15–19 years) has remained stable since 2008, with no decline in adolescent HIV prevalence. Tanzania carries 5 per cent of the global burden of HIV among adolescents.

The HIV epidemic shows strong regional variation, with children, adolescents, women and key populations continuing to be disproportionately affected. Mainland Tanzania has a generalized epidemic, while in Zanzibar, HIV prevalence is concentrated among key populations.


  • The adult HIV prevalence in mainland Tanzania dropped from 7 per cent in 2004 to 4.7 per cent in 2016. In Zanzibar, the epidemic has stabilized and remains at around 1 per cent of adults living with HIV.
  • Good results have been achieved in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services are now available in almost all (96 per cent) reproductive health centres. The number of children born with HIV decreased from 26,900 children in 2009 to 10,000 children in 2016.


  • In mainland Tanzania, HIV prevalence varies dramatically. Njombe region has a high prevalence with 14.8 per cent, while Dar es Salaam and Mbeya shoulder an estimated one third of the total number of adult people living with HIV.
  • Women comprise 60 per cent of all 15–49 year olds living with HIV and AIDS.
  • HIV prevalence among teens aged 15–19 has stabilized but has not decreased since 2008. Girls are disproportionately affected and are almost three times more likely to be living with HIV than boys of the same age. Early marriage and childbearing are common – 27 per cent of girls aged 15–19 years are either pregnant or have had a child.
  • HIV prevalence is high in key populations in both the mainland and in Zanzibar. For example, 26 per cent and 19 per cent of female sex workers are living with HIV and AIDS in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, respectively.



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