Deaths linked to HIV/AIDS drop by half

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UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said that more funds and better laws are needed to fight against HIV/AIDS. "We are saving lives".

This figure is in steady decline year after year (except for a slight rebound in 2014), very far from the maximum of 3.5 million new infections reached in 1997.

Since its 2003 launch by former President George W. Bush, PEPFAR has provided HIV treatment to approximately 11.5 million people worldwide. Some 35 million have died.

"While we are now seeing positive results in the reduction of deaths and new infections, Myanmar's momentum must be sustained to achieve its goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030,"said Tawil".

The report also concluded that in India, a respondent-driven sampling survey across 26 cities found that knowledge of HIV status was 41% among people who are living with HIV and those who injected drugs. Without treatment, HIV-infected people go on to develop AIDS, a syndrome that weakens the immune system and leaves the body exposed to opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis, and some types of cancer. A repeal could also remove access to Medicaid from low-income people living with the virus, the Advocate reported.

Overall in East and Southern Africa, 76% of people living with HIV know their status, 79% have access to treatment, and 83% have undetectable levels of HIV.

The wider availability of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has led to almost one third reduction in AIDS-related deaths since 2010 in the region. Out of those who knew their HIV status, only 52% were taking ART therapy and 83% of same are virally suppressed. Among them, 53 percent were able to get medicine that suppresses the virus.

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New infections are declining, but not fast enough. Of those, 77 percent were on treatment, and 82 percent had virus suppression.

However, progress towards the 90-90-90 targets has been inadequate in the Middle East and North Africa and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Both are areas marred by conflict and political uncertainty, and where stigma helps to drive HIV infection underground, making it even more hard to combat.

India is among the list of ten nations that account for more than 95% of all new Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, infections in the Asia-Pacific region, a UN report said. "There are many areas from infection control to stigma and discrimination for patients that need to addressed", said Dr Zafar.

The report "Ending AIDS: Progress towards the 90-90-90 targets" says that of the 36.7 million people with HIV, 19.5 million had access to treatment previous year.

Of these, 9,100 infected were children under age 15 years. Only 43 percent of them were on treatment.

Deaths linked to Aids have halved in a decade, official figures shows.

It also noted that about three-quarters of pregnant women with HIV now have access to medicines to prevent them from passing it to their babies.

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