The number of deaths from aids divided by two since 2005

News 20 July, 2017
  • AFP

    Thursday, 20 July, 2017 06:47

    Thursday, 20 July, 2017 06:51

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    PARIS| One million people died of aids-related illnesses in 2016, which is almost half less than in the peak of deaths was reached in 2005, according to a UN report published on Thursday, which says that”a turning point has been crossed”.

    More than half of people in the world are now under treatment, and the number of new HIV infections has continued to decline, but at a pace still too slow, according to these data, released before the opening Sunday in Paris an international conference of aids research.

    “The number of aids-related deaths fell from 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016,” says the Unaids programme coordination of the united nations against aids, in its annual report on the epidemic.

    Return on investment

    A progress linked in large part to a better distribution of the treatment by anti-retroviral drugs.

    The cap of 50% of hiv-positive people under treatment, which was reached in June 2016, is now outdated: “in 2016, and 19.5 million people, out of the 36.7 million who live with HIV had access to treatment”, which is more than 53%.

    “Our efforts have resulted in a solid return on investment,” welcomed Michel Sidibé, executive director of Unaids, quoted in the report.

    “But our fight to end aids is only beginning. We live in a time of fragile and the progress achieved can be easily erased,” he warned.

    1.8 million new HIV infections took place in 2016, which is a contamination every 17 seconds on average.

    This figure is in steady decline year after year (except for a slight rebound in 2014), very far from the maximum of 3.5 million new infections reached in 1997.

    But this pace is too slow to reach to curb the epidemic and achieve the goal of only 550 000 new cases in 2020, warns Unaids.

    Since the beginning of the epidemic, in the early 1980s, 76.1 million people have been infected with HIV and 35 million died, the equivalent of the population of Canada.

    There is still no HIV vaccine or medication, curing aids, and people living with hiv must follow a treatment with anti-retroviral drugs throughout their life to prevent the development of the virus.

    Explosion of the epidemic in eastern Europe

    These treatments are costly and have side effects, but they have revolutionized the health status of people living with hiv and lengthened their life expectancy.

    Without treatment, the infected people develop aids, which weakens the immune system and exposes them to opportunistic infections. The tb was still in 2016, the first cause of mortality of people living with HIV.

    The region of the world that has achieved the most progress is in southern Africa and the East, which brings together more than half of people living with hiv and where many efforts have been made. Aids-related deaths have fallen by 42% since 2010, and new infections have decreased by 29%.

    Unaids is concerned that in contrast to the explosion of the epidemic in eastern Europe and central Asia: the number of deaths has climbed by 27% in six years and the number of new infections has soared by 60%. The phenomenon affects in the first place Russia, but also Albania, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

    The report also points out that only 43% of children infected with HIV have access to antiretrovirals, compared with 54% of adults.

    He also deplores the stagnation of funding, with $ 19 billion available by the end of 2016, when he would have to find $ 7 billion more by 2020.

    “The worldwide implementation of the +three 90+ by 2020 is both achievable and accessible if we attack with determination to the deficiencies” pointed out in the report, the judge, however, Unaids.

    This goal is that 90% of people living with HIV know their status, among them, 90% are under treatment, and that among these, 90% had an undetectable viral load.

    At the end of 2016, these proportions were 70%, 77% and 82%, according to Unaids.