News / Health

    UN Report Shows Major Progress on HIV-AIDS

    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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora