Monday, 20 November, 2017

More Than Half Of People Infected With HIV On Life-Saving Antiretroviral Treatment

2.1 million HIV cases in India, 50% drop in new infections in past decade: UNAIDS report AIDS-Related Deaths Decline Worldwide, Rise In Eastern Europe And Central Asia: UN
Tracy Craig | 22 July, 2017, 00:49

India had 2.1 million people living with HIV at the end of 2016, with new infections falling to 80,000 in 2016 from 150,000 in 2005, shows data from the UNAIDS Ending AIDS Report 2017 released in Paris on Thursday.

Eastern and southern Africa are leading the way, reducing new HIV infections by almost 30 percent since 2010, the report said.

Yet, despite infection rates improving, UNAids warns that poor treatment in north Africa, the Middle East, Asia and eastern Europe has caused death rates to increase in these regions.

Deaths linked to AIDS have halved in 10 years, new figures reveal. The targets were set in 2014 to ensure that by 2020, 90% of those affected with HIV know their status, 90% of all HIV-diagnosed people receive antiretroviral therapy and 90% of those taking the therapy are virally suppressed.

A report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) showed deaths had fallen from a peak of 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million a year ago.

Botswana, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe all increased treatment coverage by more than 25 percentage points between 2010 and 2015. New HIV infections have declined by 29%, including a 56% drop in new infections among children over the same period. With continued scale-up, this progress puts the world on track to reach the global target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020, according to the report.

The report said that Iran, Sudan and Somalia accounted for about 65 percent of new HIV infections in the region in 2016.

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"For more than 35 years, the world has grappled with an AIDS epidemic that has claimed an estimated 35 million lives." the report said.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says while great progress has been made to stop the spread of HIV and Aids, there's still much more work to be done.

At the end of 2016, these proportions were 70%, 77% and 82%, according to Unaids.

He added that continued commitment and support from the government, donors, global and national nongovernmental organizations, community networks and HIV support groups is crucial in achieving the country's HIV response targets.

Northern Africa and the Middle East are two additional problem areas.

This goal is that 90% of people living with HIV know their status, among them, 90% are under treatment, and that among these, 90% had an undetectable viral load.

The report also points out that only 43% of children infected with HIV have access to antiretrovirals, compared with 54% of adults. "AIDS isn't over and it doesn't serve the AIDS response when UNAIDS is practicing grade inflation", said Terri Ford, AHF's chief of global advocacy and policy.

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