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International News

Record 34 Million Living With HIV as Treatment Cuts Deaths: UN

November 22, 2011

About half of those eligible for HIV treatment are now receiving it, UNAIDS reported Monday. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people in treatment jumped 20 percent between 2009 and 2010 -- the world's most dramatic increase in access. Treatment and better health care helped cut AIDS-related mortality worldwide to 1.8 million deaths in 2010, down from 2.2 million at the 2006 peak. UNAIDS estimates that 700,000 AIDS-related deaths were averted in 2010.

"We are on the verge of a significant breakthrough in the AIDS response," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS. "New HIV infections continue to fall, and more people than ever are starting treatment."

Modeling data suggest treatment is preventing new infections as well, with the number of new HIV infections "30 to 50 percent lower than it would have been in the absence of universal access to treatment for eligible people living with HIV," the agency reported.

In Namibia's case, 90 percent treatment coverage and 75 percent condom use among men contributed to a 60 percent cut in new infections by 2010, UNAIDS said.

"The massive increases in the numbers of people receiving treatment in South Africa between 2009 and 2010, for example, are likely to be reflected in substantially fewer new infections in the near future," the report noted. "In the next five years, smart investments can propel the AIDS response towards achieving the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths."

Ironically, these improvements are occurring at a time when many donor nations' budgets are being squeezed, resulting in less money for the international AIDS response.

To view the 2011 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report, click here.

Back to other news for November 2011

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More on HIV Treatment in the Developing World
More Global HIV Statistics

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