The number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment in developing countries increased 75% in one year, according to a January 26 report from the United Nations. The report was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at a joint press conference of the World Health Organization, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the United States Government, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In sub-Saharan Africa, and in Asia, the number of people on treatment doubled in the last six months of 2004.
This success reflects increased funding from the U.S. PEPFAR program, the Global Fund, and others. It also reflects the determination of many local governments, and the success in rapidly scaling up treatment delivery in countries with little medical infrastructure.
A major problem is the lack of treatment for children, due in large part to the expense and lack of medicine in pediatric liquid form that can be dosed properly. One of six people who die of AIDS are children -- but only one of 20 who get treatment are children.
More progress will also be needed in the three countries that together account for 41% of the total treatment need: India, Nigeria, and South Africa.
A press release on the new report is at www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr07/en/index.html.
The full text of the report, "3 by 5" Progress Report: December 2004, can be downloaded at www.who.int/3by5/progressreport05/en/.
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2005 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.