World AIDS Day 2015: Getting to zero
On this years world AIDS day, WHO emphasizes that expanding antiretroviral therapy to all people living with HIV is key to ending the AIDS epidemic in a generation.1 Dec 2015
On World AIDS Day WHO emphasizes that expanding antiretroviral therapy to all people living with HIV is key to ending the AIDS epidemic within a generation.
“The Millennium Development Goal of reversing the HIV epidemic was reached ahead of the 2015 deadline - an incredible achievement that testifies to the power of national action and international solidarity," declared WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan.
Expansion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has resulted in a stark reduction of AIDS-related deaths. At the same time, increasingly effective prevention efforts have reduced numbers of new HIV infections. Since the epidemic’s peak in 2004, the number of - deaths has fallen by 42% with some 7.8 million lives being saved over the last 15 years, according to a new WHO report. The number of new infections has fallen by 35% since the turn of the century.
Over the last 15 years, scale-up of ART has been most dramatic in the WHO African Region where now more than 11 million people are receiving HIV treatment, up from 11 000 at the turn of the century. People living with HIV in Africa are now more likely to receive treatment than people living in most other parts of the world. Globally, in June 2015 close to 16 million people out of a total of 37 million people living with HIV were taking ART.
At the UN General Assembly in September, world leaders endorsed a new set of Sustainable Development Goals and milestones, including a call for ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Reducing the number of new infections by 75% and doubling the number of people on ART by 2020 are the first milestones towards achieving this goal.
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