Wednesday, December 2, 2009
New figures released by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS estimate the number of new HIV infections have declined each year by about 17% from 2001 to 2008.
The number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 15% lower, which is about 400,000 fewer infections in 2008.
In East Asia new HIV infections declined by nearly 25% and in South and South East Asia by 10% in the same time period.
In Eastern Europe, after a dramatic increase in new infections among injecting drug users, the epidemic has leveled off considerably.
However, in some countries there are signs that new HIV infections are rising again.
But for every five people infected, only two start treatment.
The UN report noted about 4 million people were receiving AIDS drugs at the end of 2008, compared with 3 million the previous year. Nonetheless, an additional 5 million people need treatment and are not receiving it.
Number of people living with HIV in 2008
Total 33.4 million [31.1 million–35.8 million]
Adults 31.3 million [29.2 million–33.7 million]
Women 15.7 million [14.2 million–17.2 million]
Children under 15 years 2.1 million [1.2 million–2.9 million]
People newly infected with HIV in 2008
Total 2.7 million [2.4 million–3.0 million]
Adults 2.3 million [2.0 million–2.5 million]
Children under 15 years 430 000 [240 000–610 000]
AIDS-related deaths in 2008
Total 2.0 million [1.7 million–2.4 million]
Adults 1.7 million [1.4 million–2.1 million]
Children under 15 years 280 000 [150 000–410 000]
There are more people living with HIV than ever before as people are living longer due to the beneficial effects of antiretroviral therapy and population growth.
However the number of AIDS-related deaths has declined by over 10% over the past five years as more people gained to access to the life saving treatment.
UNAIDS and WHO estimate that since the availability of effective treatment in 1996, some 2.9 million lives have been saved.
Antiretroviral therapy has also made a significant impact in preventing new infections in children as more HIV- positive mothers gain access to treatment preventing them from transmitting the virus to their children. Around 200 000 new infections among children have been prevented since 2001.
There are 3 million persons in India living with HIV, equivalent to approximately 0.36 percent of the adult population. The revised national estimate reflects the availability of improved data rather than a substantial decrease in actual HIV prevalence in India.
The transmission route is still predominantly sexual (87.4 percent); other routes of transmission by order of proportion includes perinatal (4.7 percent), unsafe blood and blood products (1.7 percent), infected needles and syringes (1.8 percent)
and unspecified and other routes of transmission (4.1 percent)2.
In India also there is a declining trend in new infections in southern states and Maharashtra while the epidemic is yet to level in Northern States.
This year’s World AIDS Day theme of Universal Access and Human Rights, highlights the critical link between universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and respect for human rights in the response to the global AIDS epidemic. Without addressing human rights abuses, many of the populations most vulnerable to or living with HIV will lack access to prevention and treatment services.