Monday, 20 November 2017

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AIDS-free by 2030

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01.12.2015 - The world has halted and reversed the spread of HIV. The epidemic has been forced into decline. New HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have fallen dramatically since the peak of the epidemic. But HIV continues to shine a harsh light on the inequalities of the world. AIDS is unfinished business. Now the response is going one step further—ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

New HIV infections have fallen by 35% since 2000 (by 58% among children) and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42% since the peak in 2004. In 2014, 36.9 million people were living with HIV.

17.1 million

The number of people living with HIV continues to increase, in large part because more people globally are accessing antiretroviral therapy and as a result are living longer, healthier lives. At the same time, even though new HIV infections have declined, there is still an unacceptably high number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths occurring each year. In 2014, around 2 million people were newly infected with HIV and 1.2 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses. Furthermore, the number of adolescent deaths from AIDS has tripled over the last 15 years, according to UNICEF. Among HIV-affected populations, adolescents are the only group for which the mortality figures are not decreasing.

“It is critical that young people who are HIV-positive have access to treatment, care and support,” said Craig McClure, head of UNICEF’s global HIV/AIDS programmes. “At the same time, those who are HIV-negative must have access to the knowledge and means to help them to stay that way.”

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The new data states that most adolescents who die of AIDS-related illnesses acquired HIV when they were infants, 10 to 15 years ago, when fewer pregnant women and mothers living with HIV received antiretroviral medicines to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. These children have survived into their teenage years, sometimes without knowing their HIV status. 

By 2014, 3 in 5 pregnant women living with HIV received anti-retroviral treatment to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies. This has translated into a 60 per cent reduction in AIDS-related deaths among children under 4 years of age since 2000. These efforts to eliminate mother-to-child transmission will help to change the course of the epidemic for the next generation of adolescents.

HIV facts

The data reveal that currently among adolescents (15-19):

•  26 new infections occur every hour; and

•  About half of those living with HIV are in just six countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“The gains we have made on preventing mother to child transmission are laudable, and to be celebrated,” McClure added, “but immediate investments are needed to get life-saving treatment to children and adolescents who are infected.”

1 December, World AIDS Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness, commemorate those who have passed on and celebrate victories, such as increased access to treatment and prevention services. The theme for 2015 is “Ending the AIDS epidemic as part of the Sustainable Goals”.

AIDS Fast-Track: Ending the Epidemic by 2030

fast track

To take the AIDS response forward, UNAIDS has developed a Fast-Track approach to reach a set of time-bound targets by 2020. The targets include 90% of all people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status having access to treatment and 90% of people on treatment having suppressed viral loads. They also include reducing new HIV infections by 75% and achieving zero discrimination.

The Fast-Track approach combined with a social justice agenda that puts people first and ensures that their sexual and reproductive health and rights needs are fully respected and met will be unstoppable.

HIV 2030

Results to be achieved by getting on the Fast-Track

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UNRIC’s Related Links:

•  Children and Aids  

•  UNAIDS Terminology

•  UNAIDS Info and Fast-Track

•  Factsheet

Photo Credits:

•   Cover: WFP / Vince Dewitt

 
 

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