MAY END HIV EPIDEMIC BY 2030
July 16, 2014 – UNAIDS on Wednesday said that 35 million people are currently living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) worldwide, stressing that 19 million people out of those infected do not know they are HIV positive.
“Whether you live or die should not depend on access to an HIV test,” said Executive Director, UNAIDS Mr. Michel Sidibé, adding that “smarter scale-up is needed to close the gap between people who know their HIV status and people who don’t, people who can get services and people who can’t and people who are protected and people who are punished.”
The statistics which was contained in the GAP report released by UNAIDS on Wednesday noted that in sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90% of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART).
According to the report, research shows that in sub-Saharan Africa, 76% of people on ART have achieved viral suppression, whereby they are unlikely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners.
“New data analysis demonstrates that for every 10% increase in treatment coverage there is a 1% decline in the percentage of new infections among people living with HIV.
The report highlights that efforts to increase access to ART are working. For instance, it noted that in 2013, an additional 2.3 million people gained access to the life-saving medicines, which brings the global number of people accessing ART to nearly 13 million by the end of 2013.
It added that based on past scale-up, UNAIDS projects that as of July 2014 as many as 13 950 296 people were accessing ART.
“If we accelerate all HIV scale-up by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030,” said Mr Sidibé. “If not, we risk significantly increasing the time it would take—adding a decade, if not more.”
He explained that by ending the epidemic by 2030, the world would avert 18 million new HIV infections and 11.2 million AIDS-related deaths between 2013 and 2030.