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AIDS rates changing


rhondathompson, [email protected]

AIDS rates changing

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GENEVA – A new report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), released on Tuesday, shows that the AIDS epidemic is beginning to change course as the number of people newly infected with HIV is declining and AIDS-related deaths are decreasing. Together, this is contributing to the stabilisation of the total number of people living with HIV in the world.
Data from the 2010 UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic shows that an estimated 2.6 million [2.3 million to 2.8 million] people became newly infected with HIV, nearly 20 per cent fewer than the 3.1 million people infected in 1999.
In 2009, 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses, nearly one-fifth lower than the 2.1 million people who died in 2004.
At the end of 2009, 33.3 million people were estimated to be living with HIV, up slightly from 32.8 million in 2008. This is in large part due to more people living longer as access to antiretroviral therapy increases.
“We are breaking the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic with bold actions and smart choices,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS. “Investments in the AIDS response are paying off, but gains are fragile – the challenge now is how we can all work to accelerate progress.”
At the end of 2009 an estimated 33.3 million people world-wide were living with HIV, 2.6 million people became newly infected with HIV, and 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related causes.
The 2010 report gives new evidence that investments in HIV prevention programmes are producing significant results in many of the highest burden countries.
From 2001 to 2009, the rate of new HIV infections stabilised or decreased by more than 25 per cent in at least 56 countries, including 34 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Of the five countries with the largest epidemics in the region, four – Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – have reduced rates of new HIV infections by more than 25 per cent, while Nigeria’s epidemic has stabilised.
Donor governments’ disbursements for the AIDS response in 2009 stood at US$7.6 billion, lower than the US$7.7 billion available in 2008. Declines in international investments will affect low-income countries the most – nearly 90 per cent rely on international funding for their AIDS programmes. (PR)

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