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AIDS Epidemic Update 2009

November 27, 2009

By pwrdf

According to new data in the 2009 AIDS epidemic update, (PDF 100 pages) new HIV infections have been reduced by 17% over the past eight years. Since 2001, when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed, the number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 15% lower, which is about 400,000 fewer infections in 2008. In East Asia new HIV infections declined by nearly 25% and in South and South East Asia by 10% in the same time period. In Eastern Europe, after a dramatic increase in new infections among injecting drug users, the epidemic has leveled off considerably. However, in some countries there are signs that new HIV infections are rising again.

The report, released today by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), highlights that beyond the peak and natural course of the epidemic—HIV prevention programmes are making a difference.
“The good news is that we have evidence that the declines we are seeing are due, at least in part, to HIV prevention,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “However, the findings also show that prevention programming is often off the mark and that if we do a better job of getting resources and programmes to where they will make most impact, quicker progress can be made and more lives saved.” In this first double issue, the UNAIDS Outlook report further explores how “modes of transmission” studies are changing the approach of HIV prevention efforts. The new magazine-style report looks at new ideas and ways to use the data collected in the companion epidemiological report. Data from the AIDS Epidemic Update also show that at 33.4 million, [31.1 million—35.8 million] there are more people living with HIV than ever before as people are living longer due to the beneficial effects of antiretroviral therapy and population growth. However the number of AIDS-related deaths has declined by over 10% over the past five years as more people gained to access to the life saving treatment. UNAIDS and WHO estimate that since the availability of effective treatment in 1996, some 2.9 million lives have been saved. “International and national investment in HIV treatment scale-up have yielded concrete and measurable results,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO. “We cannot let this momentum wane. Now is the time to redouble our efforts, and save many more lives.” Antiretroviral therapy has also made a significant impact in preventing new infections in children as more HIV- positive mothers gain access to treatment preventing them from transmitting the virus to their children. Around 200 000 new infections among children have been prevented since 2001. In Botswana, where treatment coverage is 80%, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by over 50% over the past five years and the number of children newly orphaned is also coming down as parents are living longer. View the full report PDF 100 pages

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