News

UNAIDS reveals drop in HIV infections ahead of WAD 2012

Tracy Parish

29 November, 2012

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé announcing the 2012 World AIDS day report during the official UNAIDS press conference. Geneva, Switzerland, November 2012.

In the lead-in to World AIDS Day 2012, UNAIDS has just released a global report that shows that an unprecedented acceleration in the AIDS response is producing results.

The World AIDS Day report: Results by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), reveals that more than a 50 percent reduction in the rate of new HIV infections has been achieved across 25 low and middle-income countries – more than half in Africa, the region most affected by HIV.

In some of the countries that have the highest HIV prevalence in the world, rates of new HIV infections have been cut dramatically since 2001:

  • 73% in Malawi
  • 71% in Botswana
  • 68% in Namibia
  • 58% in Zambia
  • 50% in Zimbabwe
  • 41% in South Africa
  • 41% in Swaziland.

Sub-Saharan Africa has reduced AIDS-related deaths by one third in the last six years and increased the number of people on antiretroviral treatment by 59 percent in the last two years.

Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Michel Sidibé said the reports reaffirmed that the pace of progress is quickening.

“What used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months,” he said.

“We are scaling up faster and smarter than ever before. It is the proof that with political will and follow through we can reach our shared goals by 2015.”

The new results come as the AIDS response is in a 1000 day push to reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and the 2015 targets of the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

However, there is still much to be done.

UNAIDS reports that of the 34 million people living with HIV, about half do not know their HIV status. The report states that if more people knew their status, they could come forward for HIV services.

There is also an urgent need to improve HIV treatment retention rates; reduce the cost of second- and third-line treatment; and explore new ways of expanding and sustaining access to treatment, including domestic production of medicines and innovative financing.

“Despite the encouraging progress in stopping new HIV infections, the UNAIDS will focus on supporting countries to accelerate access to HIV testing and treatment. Now that we know that rapid and massive scale up is possible, we need to do more to reach key populations with crucial HIV services,” Mr Sidibé said.

For more information visit their website or download the following UNAIDS reports on this page - (right panel).

  • UNAIDS Global Report 2012
  • UNAIDS HIV Results 2012
  • UNAIDS HIV stats for the Asia/Pacific region 2012.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Tracy Parish

Executive General Manager, Marketing and Communications

Telephone

+61385062321

Email

tracy.parish@burnet.edu.au

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