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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
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 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 Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
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.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid