Almost 21M People Now Have Access to HIV Treatment

Henrietta Strickland
November 22, 2017

In 2000, just 685,000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy; by June 2017, around 20.9 million people of the 36.7 million globally living with HIV had access to the life-saving medicines, according to the latest UNAIDS report, Right to Health, launched ahead of World AIDS Day.

"This is the kind of acceleration we need to encourage, sustain and replicate", said UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe. In eastern Europe and central Asia, for example, the rate of new infections has risen 60 percent since 2010 and AIDS-related deaths have increased 27 percent, according to the new report. "We still have 17 million people waiting for treatment and if we stop now, we will have a rebound in this epidemic", UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibe, told the Khayelitsha community.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more on HIV treatment. "We know firsthand what it takes in terms of difficulty to increase access to HIV testing, the time and effort needed in order to successfully link new HIV-positive individuals to treatment and to retain them in care", said Dr. Penninah Iutung, AHF's Bureau Chief for Africa based in Kampala, Uganda.

Increasing funding for health is the key to reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, the report underscores, as the funding gap for HIV is estimated at 7 billion United States dollars by 2020. "Highlighting overly optimistic, inflated, inaccurate numbers will lead the world not just to complacency, but to a false sense that we are approaching the end of AIDS and full control of HIV, when in fact, UNAIDS may be failing to highlight unsafe gaps". However, one million people died from illnesses and complications related to HIV / AIDS, said the report of the entity.

While in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of new HIV infections are among young women and girls aged between 15 and 24 years.

He further called on Governments to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health of everyone and reiterated the world's commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 3, to ensure good health and well-being for all.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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