Date
21 September 2017
There is no cure for AIDS, but it can be kept at bay for many years with cocktails of antiretroviral drugs. Photo: Reuters
There is no cure for AIDS, but it can be kept at bay for many years with cocktails of antiretroviral drugs. Photo: Reuters

Tipping point has passed in global AIDS fight, group says

The world has passed an important tipping point in the fight against AIDS, a leading humanitarian campaign group said, pointing out that more people gained access to HIV drugs last year than were infected with the virus.

The world has finally reached “the beginning of the end” of the AIDS pandemic that has infected and killed millions in the past 30 years, Reuters quoted the ONE campaign as saying.

But in a report to mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the group, which is working to end poverty and preventable disease in Africa, warned that reaching this milestone does not mean the end of AIDS was around the corner.

“We’ve passed the tipping point in the AIDS fight at the global level, but not all countries are there yet, and the gains made can easily stall or unravel,” Erin Hohlfelder, ONE’s director of global health policy, was quoted as saying.

United Nations data show that in 2013, 35 million people were living with HIV, 2.1 million people were newly infected with the virus and some 1.5 million people died of AIDS. 

The United Nations AIDS agency says that by June 2014, some 13.6 million people globally had access to AIDS drugs, a dramatic improvement on the 5 million who were getting treatment in 2010.

Hohlfelder highlighted several threats to current progress, including a US$3 billion shortfall in the funds needed each year to control HIV around the world.

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FL/RC

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