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UNAIDS Reports Progress

The AIDS and HIV epidemics remain rampant around the world. The rates of infection are shown to have unprecedented growth in countries and regions that do not have the resources and education to provide to key AIDS populations. Overall, AIDS-related infections and deaths have dropped around the world. But the anxiety remains that such numbers are not sustainable.

In anticipation of World AIDS Day on December 1, USAIDS released a new report compiling Global AIDS data. In 2012, an estimated 35.3 million people around the world lived with HIV. Of those, 2.3 million people were newly infected with the disease while 1.6 million people died from AIDS.

There is overall progress from the earlier years. New HIV infections among adults and children have dropped 33% since 2001 while AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 30% since antiretroviral vaccines debuted in 2005.

The age gap of the afflicted has increased, extending to children and adults aged 50 years and older. The report also mentions that in “priority countries” 3 in 10 children receive HIV treatment according to treatment guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Under these new guidelines, an estimated 10 million total people around the world will be in need of treatment.

The numbers have significant room for improvement. Investments for HIV prevention services have plateaued since 2008, and by 2015 an estimated $24 billion will be needed annually for HIV resources.

As the world’s deadliest and unrelenting infectious killer, real solutions are being sought by organizations like USAIDS and the WHO. Attention to child patients, preventative education, the offering of preventative supplies, and the fostering of stable health care systems are the priorities in the mission of containing the disease in the most plagued of regions.

– Malika Gumpangkum

Sources: UNAIDS, WHO
Photo: IB Times