A recent report by the United Nations Programme on HIV states that new infections of HIV fell one third globally between 2001 and 2012. This means that there is considerable success in the effort to fight one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.
The key findings of the report which gathered data from 171 of the 193 member UN members are as follows:
- There were 2.3 million new HIV infections worldwide, down from 2.5 million in 2011 and down 33% from the 3.4 million in 2001.
- The drop in new infections was observed in both adults and children but was more marked in children — 260 000 in 2012, down 52% from the 550,000 in 2001.
- The number of AIDS-related deaths was 1.6 million in 2012, down slightly from 1.7 million in 2011 and from the 2005 peak of 2.3 million.
- Tuberculosis-related deaths in people living with HIV have fallen by 36% since 2004, although TB still remains the leading killer of people with HIV.
There were 35.3 million people living with HIV last year among which 1.6 million have died. Since the pandemic started an estimated 35 million people have already died from the disease.
Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS’s executive director, said in the report that “Today we have the tools we need to lay the groundwork to end the AIDS epidemic. However in several countries that have experienced significant declines in new HIV infections, disturbing signs have emerged of increases in sexual risk behaviors among young people.”
The 2015 UN development goals aims for a 50% reduction in sexual and drug-related HIV transmission, eliminating new HIV infections among children, reaching 15 million people with HIV treatment, and mobilizing $22 billion to $24 billion a year for HIV programs.
The report however says that there is no evidence to suggest that new HIV infections among injection drug users are declining. This means that the target of reaching the 50% reduction has not been met.