June 22, 2013

AIDS 10 years later: Global HIV infections decreasing

Provided by Healio

June 20, 2013

Ten years after the implementation of the US President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, 1 million babies have been born HIV-free as of June, according to a press release from the US Department of State.

“Preventing mother-to-child transmission has been a central pillar of our fight against the disease, and just this month we reached the truly landmark moment on the HIV/AIDS timeline,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said at the PEPFAR 10th Anniversary Celebration.

In the past decade, global HIV infections have decreased nearly 20%, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of new infections and AIDS-related deaths decreased by nearly one-third.

“Last year alone, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for nearly 50 million people, and while just 300,000 people in low and middle income countries were receiving antiretroviral treatment 10 years ago, today PEPFAR is directly supporting more than 5 million people on treatment,” Kerry said.

Today, the United States supports three times more people on ART than it did in 2008.

In July 2012, the United States announced a $20 million fund to support country-led plans to expand high-impact comprehensive package of HIV prevention, treatment and care services for key populations, including men who have sex with men, injection drugs users and sex workers.

Kerry said the funding will be awarded to Cambodia, Ghana, Nepal, Senegal, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and two regional programs.

“This has been a decade of remarkable progress,” Kerry said. “But obviously, our work is not done. Millions still become infected every year and millions are still dying. But we can now say with confidence something we could perhaps only dream of before … and that is we can achieve an AIDS-free generation, and that is within our grasp now.”

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