Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

AIDS deaths are down since 2010 according to UN

AIDS deaths are down since 2010 according to UN

The report highly commends South Africa's success in reducing new HIV infections by more than 40 percent and AIDS-related deaths by around 40 percent since 2010.

United Nations member states also agreed to UNAIDS's 90-90-90 targets where 90 per cent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 per cent of HIV positive people are on antiretroviral treatment, and 90 people of people on treatment have an undetectable viral load.

Highlighting the enormous progress made since the height of the Aids epidemic in the mid-1990s, the report showed that the number people dying from the disease fell from 800,000 in 2017 to 770,000 in 2018.

Comorbidity in HIV has been defined as a disease outside the scope of an AIDs-defining illness.

Eshowe is a significant location for MSF as we have a project there, and UNAIDS has specifically chosen to launch its report in the first area in South Africa to achieve the UNAIDS-endorsed targets of 90-90-90.

"There have been impressive gains in eastern and southern Africa, home to 54% of the world's people living with HIV".

The report noted that the worldwide community is still far away from achieving the goal of cutting HIV/AIDS deaths by 50 percent by 2020, to less than 500,000 per year.

Mabuza reminded those gathered of just how daunting the battle against HIV infections is in our country with an estimated 20% of global HIV infections being residents in South Africa. Six months to this deadline, this target is far from being achieved. Overall reductions in Aids-related deaths are mainly due to progress in eastern and southern Africa.

The target calls for 90% of people living with HIV to know their status, 90% of those diagnosed to be on treatment, and 90% of those receiving treatment to have viral suppression by 2020. Some countries continue to experience a rise in new cases of HIV infections and accompanying deaths.

Countries in West and Central Africa region in particular need acceleration but are facing a shortfall in worldwide funding including for ART treatment scale up.

About 82% of pregnant women living with HIV now have access to antiretroviral drugs, which is more than 90% more than in 2010.

Despite this, the report said that under 50 per cent of these at-risk populations were reached by HIV prevention services in more than half of countries.

"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".

"Countries which are affected by HIV and do not have a lot of resources have increased their domestic contributions but in many cases these have not kept up with inflation".

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