By Gosuke Kawano
Rabat – Global AIDS-related deaths nearly halved since 2005, and over half of those who are suffering from AIDS are now taking its drugs, the United Nations (UN) has announced.
According to the UNAIDS agency, out of 36.5 million people who are HIV-positive, 19.5 million are now on treatment.
UNAIDS said that the improvement of the health condition in terms of AIDS prevention has been remarkable, reducing new HIV infections by nearly 30 percent since 2010, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have cut down new infections by 40 percent or more since 2010.
Due to this remarkable progress, HIV-positive patients tend to live longer, which once was thought to be impossible. It is reported that average life expectancy increased by nearly 10 years from 2006 to 2016 in Eastern and Southern Africa.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said as treatment continues to grow, he sees that communities and families are “thriving.”
“As we bring the epidemic under control, health outcomes are improving and nations are becoming stronger,” stressed the director.
Despite the past decade’s improvement, the report warned that not all regions are making the same progress.
Unlike in Eastern and Southern Africa, the number of AIDS-related deaths have risen by 48 percent and 38 percent in the regions of Middle East-North Africa and Eastern Europe respectively, largely because patients in these areas have not had access to treatment.
Even within those regions, when efforts are united, the results happen in case of the situation of Morocco, Algeria, and Belarus where all have significantly increased HIV treatment access rates.
UNAIDS said there has been tremendous improvement in terms of global range of AIDS treatment, but, it acknowledged, “there is still much work to do.”
Around 30 percent of HIV patients still do not know their HIV status, according to UNAIDS. In addition, 17.1 million patients do not have access to antiretroviral therapy, and more than half of all patients are not “virally suppressed.”
Although HIV infection rates are declining, the pace of the drop is not sufficient to “meet global targets.”