To assess the patterns and predictors of AIDS-related mortality and identify its correlates among adult people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in China, a retrospective record-based cohort study was conducted among 18 years or older PLWHA, who had at least one follow up reported to the national database between January-1989 and June-2012. Cumulative Incidence Function was used to calculate AIDS-related mortality rate. Gray's test was used to determine the variation in cumulative incidence across strata. The Fine and Gray model was used to measure the burden of cumulative incidence of AIDS-related mortality and strength of its association with potential correlates. Among 375,629 patients, 107,634 died during study period, of which 54,759 (50.87%) deaths were AIDS-related. Cumulative mortality rates of AIDS-related death at one, two, five, 10 and 15 years post-diagnosis were 5.7%, 8.2%, 14.3%, 22.9% and 30.9%, respectively. Among PLWHA, male gender, ethnic minority and having AIDS were associated with significantly higher mortality. Further, homosexual transmission, being on ART and increasing CD4-testing frequency were associated with lower mortality. To reduce mortality among PLWHA, efficient interventions targeting males, ethnic minority, heterosexually infected and AIDS patients should be combined with immunologic monitoring, enhancement of coverage of HIV-testing and ART.