AIDS Decline – AIDS from new infections related to the disease continue to fall in most parts of the world. The number of people dying from the disease around the world declined last year for the third year in a row. At the same time, the fraction of people getting treatment for the infection reached almost 50 percent.
Both facts are evidence that progress against the 30-year-old epidemic is gaining momentum, according to the United Nations’ annual report, released Monday.
The report is offering a measure of hope that the tide is turning in the global battle against the disease.
The UN report also suggests that the number of people worldwide every year newly infected with HIV has leveled off, remaining around 2.7 million since 2007.
At the same time, the number of AIDs deaths fell to 1.8 million last year, down from 1.9 million the year before and from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s. That leaves 34 million living with the disease.
“Even in a very difficult financial crisis, countries are delivering results in the AIDS response,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a news release. “We have seen a massive scale up in access to HIV treatment which has had a dramatic effect on the lives of people everywhere.”
Overall, 22 countries have experienced a decline in new infections. The surging number of people on AIDs drugs — which makes them less likely to infect others — is credited as one of the main reasons for the improvement. Only 5 percent of HIV-positive people had access to treatment in 2000, but since 2009, the figure has been more than 80 percent.