Reduction in AIDS deaths paints positive picture
From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – THE extraordinary scale-up of antiretroviral treatment by many of the world’s most affected countries has reduced AIDS-related deaths by 400 000 over the past five years.
The deaths have dropped from 1, 5 million in 2010 to 1, 1 million in 2015.
An estimated 17 million people were accessing life-saving antiretroviral medicines at the end of 2015, with an additional 2 million people gaining access over a 12-month period.
The statics are carried in a report that has been released in Kenya as world leaders prepare to gather for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, to take place in New York, United States of America, from June 8-10.
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), as more countries adopt new guidelines from the World Health Organization to treat everyone diagnosed with HIV immediately, public health benefits are being realized for individuals and for wider society.
“The full potential of antiretroviral therapy is being realized,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS.
“I urge all countries to seize this unprecedented opportunity to put HIV prevention and treatment programmes on the Fast-Track and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”
Gains were greatest in the world’s most affected region, eastern and southern Africa, where coverage increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 54 percent in 2015, reaching a total of 10, 3 million people.
In South Africa, 3,4 million people had access to treatment, followed by Kenya with nearly 900 000. Botswana, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe all increased treatment coverage by more than 25 percentage points between 2010 and 2015.
– CAJ News
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