HIV Aids-Related Deaths Down A Third Since 2010

Henrietta Strickland
July 16, 2019

The increases over the past two years comes after there was a drop in the number of new HIV cases in each of the four preceding years.

"The annual number of new HIV infections globally continued to decline gradually in 2018", the report reads.

In 2016, the United Nations member states endorsed the goal of cutting AIDS deaths by 50% by 2020, to less than 500 000 per year. Six months before this deadline, countries are far from achieving this target. While an additional two million people are reported to be on antiretroviral therapy (ART), more needs to be done by all to confront the killer infections driving AIDS death such as tuberculosis and cryptococcal meningitis. Many of those populations did not get access to infection prevention services, it said.

However, there is still a long way to go in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by HIV, and there have been worrying increases in new HIV infections in eastern Europe and central Asia (29 percent), in the Middle East and North Africa (10 percent) and in Latin America (seven percent), the report says.

HIV-related deaths past year fell to around 770,000 - some 33 percent lower than in 2010 - the United Nations said Tuesday, but warned that global efforts to eradicate the disease were stalling as funding dries up.

"We can not celebrate or talk of success while hundreds of thousands continue to die of AIDS every year because they do not access basic HIV care, either because they live in countries that are neglected, because they are part of neglected population groups, or because of policies that chose to ignore them".

He was joined by the acting executive director of UNAIDS, Gunilla Carlson, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, and others.

There remains a pronounced disparity in new infection rates among young men and women, with young women 60 percent more likely to pick up HIV than young men of the same age.

"This starts with investing adequately and smartly and by looking at what's making some countries successful. Ending AIDS is possible if we focus on people, not diseases, create road maps for the people and locations being left behind, and take a human rights-based approach to reaching people most affected by HIV".

"Let us replicate this great example throughout our country, as it represents the best practice model on the fight against HIV and AIDS", said Mabuza.

The 90-90-90 targets mean that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of those are on antiretroviral treatment and 90 percent of those have a suppressed viral load.

The Eshowe community, in particular, have managed to reach the 90-90-90 targets set by UNAID in its fight against HIV.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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