News / Africa

    8 Million Now Receiving HIV Treatment

    UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe  (UNAIDS)
    UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe (UNAIDS)
    Joe DeCapua
    More than eight million HIV positive people around the world are now receiving antiretroviral drug therapy, a 20 percent increase over the past year. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS, has released a new report prior to the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.



    The latest UNAIDS report – Together We Will End AIDS – says nearly 1.4 million people were added to the treatment rolls last year alone. There are now more than 34-million people living with HIV. That’s more than ever, the report says, thanks to the greater availability of life-saving drugs.

    “I personally believe that it is a new era – new era for treatment, new era for prevention. But it is also from my personal reading a beginning of a journey to getting to zero,” said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS.

    He said it’s a new era of shared responsibility, mutual accountability and global solidarity.

    “These three pillars will be certainly shaping not just our discussion during the next few days, but will shape also probably our response in the coming days and years,” he said.

    He added the money spent to battle HIV/AIDS was money well spent. Global investments for HIV reached nearly $17 billion in 2011.

    “We are talking more and more of cost effectiveness, efficiency, reducing unit costs of producing any results. We are trying to make sure that the framework, investment framework, we are using with the countries becomes smarter,” said Sidibe.

    Low and middle income countries have greatly increased their own investment in fighting the epidemic. Domestic spending on the disease now exceeds international investment for the first time. For example, South Africa invested $2 billion last year.

    Much of the international funding for treatment, research and prevention comes from PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

    U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Dr. Eric Goosby, who’s in charge of PEPFAR, said, “Our resource allocation and prioritization -- shifts that over the last three years we have aggressively tried to institute in our PEPFAR programs -- have begun to show the fruit of that labor. Moving to high risk populations - targeting key populations -- to ensure that they are identified in a safe setting, in a safe space, to allow them to be entered and retained in care over time.”

    PEPFAR works through partnerships with national governments, giving them more say in tailoring programs.

    “I think that the numbers that UNAIDS is presenting to the world reassure me that we are positioned to know, monitor and understand the data as it comes in. And we have moved I think over the last few years to be much more nimble in our ability to reposition our programming,’ said Goosby.

    But there’s still much to do and billions of dollars more are needed, according to UNAIDS.

    UNAIDS reports 1.7-million people died from AIDS-related causes in 2011. That’s a decline of 24 percent since deaths reached their peak in 2005. TB remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, as weakened immune systems make them more vulnerable to the infection. Also, 2.5-million people were newly infected with HIV last year.

    What’s more, young people – those between 15 and 24 years old – account for 40 percent of all new adult HIV infections. And most of those infections are among young women. Surveys show that many young people still lack knowledge about HIV prevention and transmission.

    Also, HIV positive people in parts of Asia and Eastern Europe still lack access to treatment. And infections are rising among men-who-have-sex-with-men, intravenous drugs users and sexworkers. 

    Nevertheless, the UNAIDS report says efforts are on track to have 15 million people on treatment by 2015.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora