UN: Over half those with HIV taking AIDS drugs

The “scales have tipped” in the fight against Aids, with more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment and Aids-related deaths almost halving since 2005, according to the UN.

In its latest global report on the pandemic, which has killed around 35 million people worldwide, the UNAIDS agency said a record 19.5 million of the 36.5 million people who are HIV-positive are on treatment.

The report also said Aids-related deaths have declined by nearly half since their peak of 1.9 million in 2005.

UNAIDS said there were particularly encouraging signs in Africa, a continent that has been ravaged by the disease.

Eastern and Southern Africa are leading the way, reducing new HIV infections by nearly 30 percent since 2010, the report said.

Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe have cut new infections by 40 percent or more since 2010.

As a result of the progress, more people in what had been some of the worst affected countries, are now living longer. In eastern and southern Africa, for example, average life expectancy increased by nearly 10 years from 2006 to 2016.

“Communities and families are thriving as Aids is being pushed back,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said on Thursday.

“As we bring the epidemic under control, health outcomes are improving and nations are becoming stronger.”


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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