News / Africa

HIV Infections Drop Sharply Among Young People

Joe DeCapua

There’s good news in the latest report from UNAIDS.  It says there’s been a 25 percent drop in HIV prevalence among young people in 15 of the most severely affected countries.

In eight countries - Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe - “significant HIV prevalence declines have been accompanied by positive changes in sexual behavior among young people.”

Efforts paying off

UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Paul De Lay says the report describes the improvement as a “prevention revolution.”

“We are seeing that investments in HIV prevention are showing results,” he says.  “Fifteen countries have met the 25 percent reduction in HIV infections.  That’s the target that was set at the U.N. General Assembly’s Special Session on AIDS in 2001.”

A severely or most-affected country is defined as having more than a two percent of prevalence in the 15 to 29 age group.

De Lay says, “These positive results have happened because young people are adopting safer sexual behaviors; and we’re talking about the traditional sexual behaviors… essentially delaying sexual debut, having fewer sexual partners and increased use of condoms.”

Adapting

The report’s being released prior to next week’s XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna.  De Lay says UNAIDS is responding to a changing world.

“With the rising treatment bill, countries in economic crisis and increasing prevention needs, the world is demanding change in the AIDS response.  And we here at UNAIDS, with our partners, are working to reshape the AIDS response,” says De Lay.

He says one of the highlights of the UNAIDS report is a Zogby survey in 25 countries looking at public response and awareness of the epidemic.

“Some of the key findings are that AIDS continues to be one of the top health priorities for the general public in all regions of the world,” he says, “The majority believe that the AIDS epidemic can be pushed back measurably by 2015.”

The Zogby poll, however, shows that half of those questioned say a lack of funding is a major obstacle.

De Lay says, ”More than 70 percent say resources should go to HIV prevention."  This highlights the importance of stopping new infections.

Treatment 2.0

UNAIDS has unveiled what it says is a “radically simplified” treatment platform, or strategy, called Treatment 2.0.  Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander of UNAIDS says it builds on the success on anti-retroviral therapy of recent years.

“The current approaches are just far too complex and too complicated.  And it will be impossible to reach the additional 10 million people that currently need treatment.  And it will be impossible to sustain and pay for further access in the years to come,” he says.

Treatment 2.0 offers a new, more affordable approach.

“At a very high level it is a radical simplification to not only reach more people more quickly, but also eventually to also save money because it will be cheaper,” he says.

It calls for a “better pill,” a tablet containing multiple anti-retrovirals that “doesn’t lead to resistance.”  When HIV builds up resistance to antiretroviral therapy, much more expensive second-line treatment is needed.

Schwartlander says the development of a better pill would lead to “much simpler diagnostics and treatment monitoring.” which would be cheaper.

The strategy also calls for a simpler and easier HIV test to determine whether a person is infected.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid