UNAIDS: Global HIV Infection Rates Drop

Posted June 3rd, 2011 at 12:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations says a record number of people around the world are accessing HIV-AIDS treatment, and that the rates of new infections have fallen.

In a report released Friday, UNAIDS said a record 1.4 million people began treatment last year. The head of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, said access to treatment will transform the response to AIDS in the next decade.

In the report, marking 30 years since the first cases of HIV-AIDS emerged, the U.N. estimated that 34 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2010, up approximately 700,000 from 2009.

It said global rates of infections fell by nearly a quarter between 2001 and 2009 — with substantial decreases in two hard-hit countries, India and South Africa

The report noted, however, that a “major treatment gap” remains, saying nine million people who were eligible for treatment at the end of last year did not have access to the antiretroviral therapy.

The report also said while the rates of new infections declined globally, the total number of infections still remained high, with about 7,000 new infections per day.