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

    Video US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora