Washington: In a cheering report on the AIDS epidemic, UN report said Wednesday that new HIV infections among children are dropping at a steady rate.
The report comes ahead of the International AIDS Conference in the US capital from July 22-27. The goal of the conference is to radically halt the spread of the HIV virus.
Some 34.2 million people worldwide were living with the AIDS virus at the end last year, a slight rise from the previous year as better treatment helps patients live longer.
A record eight million people in low- and middle-income countries were being treated with antiretrovirals last year, up 20 percent from 2010 according to a separate report by UNAIDS released Wednesday.
“The world deserves no less than a future of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, wrote in Wednesday’s report.
Treatment is one of the keys to save the lives of people living with HIV. New research also suggests that if a person is treated at an early stage, he is likely to stay healthy and is far less likely to infect others as we know that prevention is better than cure.
Another important target that needs to be fulfilled is to try to nearly eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015, including transmission during pregnancy.
In an encouraging move, the report found that about 330,000 children were newly infected in 2011, a 24 percent drop since 2009. Nearly 60 percent of the 1.5 million pregnant women living with HIV in poor countries received effective anti-AIDS medications last year, to lower their chances of infecting their babies.
(With agency inputs)