News / Health

    UN: New Cases of HIV Decline

    Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, shows the UNAIDS 2010 Global Report on the global AIDS epidemic at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010
    Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, shows the UNAIDS 2010 Global Report on the global AIDS epidemic at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010

    A new report shows the AIDS epidemic has been halted and the world is beginning to reverse the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.  UNAIDS, the joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS reports at least 56 countries have stabilized or achieved significant declines in rates of new HIV infections.

    UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe, loses no time in announcing the good news.

    "Today, we can say with confidence and conviction, that we have broken the trajectory of the AIDS pandemic," Sidibe said. "Less people are becoming infected.  Less people are dying.  New infections have fallen by nearly 20 percent in the last 10 years."   

    Data from the UNAIDS report shows an estimated 2.6 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2009, down from 3.1 million in 1999.  It notes 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses last year.  This is one-fifth lower than in 2004.  It says more than 33 million people are living with HIV, thanks to anti-retroviral therapy.

    The report says sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region most affected by the epidemic, with 69 percent of all new HIV infections.  But, even this region is wracking up huge successes.  

    It notes HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are stable or declining, AIDS-related deaths are going down and HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are declining among children.

    Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS, Paul De Lay says 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have reduced new HIV infections by more than 25 percent and this is happening in the general population, particularly among young people.

    "We are seeing a decrease in the number of sexual partners," De Lay said. "We are seeing in some countries up to 75 percent use of condoms and less casual sex act.  We are seeing delays of sexual debut.  So, the basic sexual risk behaviors are changing dramatically.  What we have not seen is the impact of increased treatment because increasing numbers of people on treatment will also contribute to prevention."   

    But, the news is not uniformly good. The report finds a steep increase in new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

    The report says the number of people living with HIV almost tripled between 2000 and 2009 to an estimated 1.4 million. The HIV epidemics are mainly found among people who inject drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men.  Most of these infections are in Russia and the Ukraine.  

    The report warns the HIV epidemic is not over in high-income countries in North America and Western Europe.  It says unprotected sex between men mainly accounts for the spread of new HIV infections.

    It says HIV disproportionately affects African-Americans in the United States and aboriginal people in Canada.


    Diaa Bekheet

    Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets. He is currently an editor for our main English site, VOAnews.com.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora