San Francisco

People Living with HIV

San Francisco has one of the largest HIV-positive populations in the United States with an estimated 15,979 people living with HIV.

Of the total number of San Franciscans living with HIV/AIDS, 9,567 were living with AIDS at the end of 2014. AIDS is a late-stage of HIV disease defined by a low count of CD4 cells.

Gay and bisexual men of all ages and ethnicities continue to bear the brunt of the disease and 86% of new HIV diagnoses are among gay and bisexual men.

New Diagnoses

In 2014, there were 302 newly diagnosed HIV cases, a decrease in number from recent years.

Of those newly diagnosed with HIV in 2014, 93% identified as male, 86% were men who have sex with men, a majority (54%) were between 30-49 years old, and 45% were white.

In the past five years, the proportion of Latinos (21% in 2009 to 27% in 2014) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (8% to 13%) who make up new HIV diagnoses has increased. The proportion of new diagnoses among people ages 25 to 29 years dropped from 21% to 17% between 2013 and 2014.

African-Americans are disproportionately represented among new HIV infections, with 11% of new diagnoses among African-Americans in 2014, while only 6% of San Francisco’s population is African-American.

Neighborhoods showing the most new HIV diagnoses are located in central parts of the city in the Castro, Western Addition, Tenderloin, South of Market, and Mission. Not only did the Castro have the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses with 294 new cases per 100,000 people, its rate was more than three times the San Francisco average. Other high rates were reported in the Tenderloin (189 per 100,000 people) and Potrero Hill (132 per 100,000 people).

HIV and AIDS Care

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of all newly diagnosed people living with HIV are engaged in ongoing proper care for three to nine months after their first medical visit.

Among all people living with HIV—whether diagnosed or not—60% have their virus under control (are virally suppressed) compared to 30% nationally. Viral suppression is associated with better health outcomes and less likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.

On average, 62% of people newly diagnosed with HIV achieve viral suppression within a year of diagnosis in San Francisco. Neighborhoods that fall below this average include the Bayview (49%), the Outer Mission (56%), and the Tenderloin (59%).

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 2001 and 2014 was 78% for African-Americans compared to 85% for whites, 87% for Latinos, and 91% for Asian/Pacific Islanders.

In 2014, more than 58% of those living with HIV in San Francisco were over fifty years old. A decade ago, in 2005, only 38% of those living with HIV were over fifty.


In California, an estimated 119,878 people are living with HIV and AIDS. Of these, an estimated 73,291 were living with AIDS at the end of December 2013.

In 2013, there were 4,636 newly diagnosed HIV cases in California. An estimated 11% of Californians with HIV do not know their status.

As of December 2014, the state has lost 96,443 people who had an AIDS diagnosis. These deaths may or may not have been related to AIDS.

United States

In the United States, an estimated 929,646 people are living with HIV/AIDS.

In 2013, there were 42,018 newly diagnosed HIV cases in the United States. This number has remained relatively stable since 2008.

As of 2012, approximately 658,507 people who had an AIDS diagnoses have died. These deaths may or may not have been related to AIDS.



California Office of AIDS, AIDS Surveillance Report (as of June 2014).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs: HIV Diagnosis, Care, and Treatment Among Persons Living with HIV – United States, 2011. MMWR 2014; 63 (47): 1113-1117.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV Surveillance Report, 2012; vol. 24.

San Francisco Department of Public Health, HIV Epidemiology Section. HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Annual Report 2014.

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