AIDS deaths declining steadily but 'too slowly', finds UN report
London, July 19 (ANI): The global AIDS epidemic is on the decline, but progress is worryingly slow, according a new United Nations report.
According to a 140-page report from UNAIDS, deaths dropped from 1.8 million in 2010 to 1.7 million last year, while new infections came down from 2.6 million to 2.5 million, but the progress is slower than how experts had predicted, especially at a time when funding is under pressure because of the global economic downturn."These are positive numbers but the trend needs to be accelerated. It is moving in the right direction, but just not fast enough. If we map it out on a graph, we are still looking at a significant epidemic for the next 40 to 50 years," The Guardian quoted Paul De Lay, the deputy executive director of UNAIDS, as saying.
"It is something of a depressing message, but it could be worse. It could be that the numbers are going up," he added.
The report cited that AIDS has become a regionalised epidemic and in some countries, deaths and infections are still rising, with both new infections and deaths going up in eastern Europe and central Asia.
The most affected groups affected are found to be drug users and sex workers and their clients, groups that are still stigmatised and do not get the treatment and help they need, the report said.
"These two epidemics are counter to the rest of the world," said De Lay.
The research highlighted a sharp rise in the numbers of people with HIV who are getting treatment in low and middle-income countries, as some 8 million people are on drugs that suppress the virus, keeping them not only healthy but less likely to infect anyone else.
The report set a target to get 15 million people on treatment by 2015, although hat will require an ambitious yearly increase of 1.7 million people, and last year's record increase was 1.4 million people. (ANI)
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