On the fightback against Aids

Posted July 22, 2017

But AIDS-related deaths have increased in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the report by the UNAIDS agency.

"We need to ensure that people who start treatment can stay on effective treatment, to prevent the emergence of HIV drug resistance", said Gottfried Hirnschall, director of the WHO's HIV and hepatitis program. "New HIV infections have declined by 29%, including a 56% drop in new HIV infections among children over the same period, a remarkable achievement resulting from HIV treatment and prevention efforts that are putting eastern and southern Africa on track towards ending its Aids epidemic", the report said.

Overall in East and Southern Africa, 76% of people living with HIV know their status, 79% have access to treatment, and 83% have undetectable levels of HIV.

According to the Advocate, wiping out the Affordable Care Act could strip health care from tens of thousands of people with HIV/AIDS, as well as bar millions from receiving free HIV testing.

The wider availability of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has led to almost one third reduction in AIDS-related deaths since 2010 in the region.

New infections from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have nearly halved in India over the past decade, but decline has to be greater to end AIDS by 2030.

New HIV infections have also steadily decreased in recent years, it said.

As yet, there is no HIV vaccine or cure, and infected people rely on lifelong anti-retroviral therapy to stop the virus replicating.

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By 2020, states the plan, 90 percent of infected people must know their status, of whom 90 percent must be on treatment. Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe have gone further, cutting new HIV infections by 40 per cent or more since 2010.

As a result, more people in what had been some of the worst affected countries, are now living longer.

Once a threshold of 10 percent is reached, the World Health Organization recommends countries urgently review their HIV treatment programs and switch to different drug regimens to limit the spread of resistance.

The cap of 50% of hiv-positive people under treatment, which was reached in June 2016, is now outdated: "in 2016, and 19.5 million people, out of the 36.7 million who live with HIV had access to treatment", which is more than 53%.

In Asia and Pacific region, the most of new infections are taking place in 10 countries among which, India, China, Indonesia, are leading the list.

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

"Cambodia is to be congratulated for reaching this global target three years before the world's deadline", said Vladanka Andreeva, UNAIDS Cambodia country director.