News / Health

UN Report Shows Major Progress on HIV-AIDS

UN Report Shows Major Progress on HIV-AIDSi
X
November 28, 2013 1:57 AM
The latest report from the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS provides a vision of hope. As VOA's Carol Pearson reports, it shows that we are closer to the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
Carol Pearson
The latest report from the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS provides a vision of hope.  It shows that we are closer to the goal of an AIDS-free generation.

The number of people around the world who are newly infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has dropped dramatically - by 30 percent - over the past several years.  That's according to the latest report from the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Anthony Fauci at the U.S. National Institutes of Health has spent the last three decades trying to stem the pandemic.  He says the biggest reason for the decline is people are getting treated.

"We know now, that when you put someone on treatment, not only is it lifesaving for them, but it also dramatically diminishes the likelihood that they will transmit their infection to their sexual partner," said Fauci.

The cost of anti-AIDS drugs has dropped from $10,000 per year to about $140, money Dr. Fauci says is well spent, even for low income countries.

"If you wait until they get sick, you have the cost of the medication, plus the very prohibitive cost of taking care of someone when they get sick," he said.

Massive education campaigns have helped people change their behavior by using condoms and, for drug users, needle exchanges. These measures prevent people from exchanging blood or semen, which is how HIV commonly
spreads.  Male circumcision reduces transmission and is becoming more common.

New infections have dropped in all age groups, but the greatest difference is seen among children.  If pregnant women receive anti-viral medicine, their risk of passing HIV to their children drops below 5 percent.

The result is that over the past 10 years, the number of children infected with HIV has dropped by 50 percent.

World health officials talk about reaching the tipping point. Again, Dr. Fauci:

"The tipping point is when the number of people who go on therapy is greater than the number of people who get newly infected," he said.

Dr. Fauci estimates that for every person who gets into treatment, up to two more are newly infected.  Not all have access to the life-saving drugs, and not all people know how vulnerable they really are.

African Americans are a key risk group.  They make up 12 percent of the population, yet they account for more than 50 percent of new HIV infections.

Thirty-five million people are living with HIV.  As for an AIDS-free generation, Dr. Fauci says he would settle for another dramatic decrease over time.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid