INTRODUCTION The purpose of measuring the burden of disease involves aggregating morbidity and mortality components into a single indicator, the disability-adjusted life year (DALY), to measure how much and how people live and suffer the impact of a disease. OBJECTIVE To estimate the global burden of disease due to AIDS in a municipality of southern Brazil. METHODS An ecological study was conducted in 2009 to examine the incidence and AIDS-related deaths among the population residing in the city of Tubarao, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Data from the Mortality Information System in the National Health System was used to calculate the years of life lost (YLL) due to premature mortality. The calculation was based on the difference between a standardized life expectancy and age at death, with a discount rate of 3% per year. Data from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases were used to calculate the years lived with disability (YLD). The DALY was estimated by the sum of YLL and YLD. Indicator rates were estimated per 100,000 inhabitants, distributed by age and gender. RESULTS A total of 131 records were examined, and a 572.5 DALYs were estimated, which generated a rate of 593.1 DALYs/100,000 inhabitants. The rate among men amounted to 780.7 DALYs/100,000, whereas among women the rate was 417.1 DALYs/100,000. The most affected age groups were 30-44 years for men and 60-69 years for women. CONCLUSION The burden of disease due to AIDS in the city of Tubarao was relatively high when considering the global trend. The mortality component accounted for more than 90% of the burden of disease.