The United Nations said on Wednesday new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS were decreasing, making it possible to control the epidemic by 2030 and eventually end it “in every region, in every country”.
“More than ever before, there is hope that ending AIDS is possible. However, a business-as-usual approach or simply sustaining the AIDS response at its current pace cannot end the epidemic,” the U.N. AIDS programme UNAIDS said in a global report issued ahead of an AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia next week.
It said the number of people infected with HIV was stabilising at around 35 million worldwide. The epidemic had killed some 39 million of the 78 million people it has affected since it began in the 1980s.
“The AIDS epidemic can be ended in every region, every country, in every location, in every population and every community,” Michel Sidibe, the director of UNAIDS, said in the report. “There are multiple reasons why there is hope and conviction about this goal.”
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS can be transmitted via blood, breast milk and by semen during sex, but can be kept in check with cocktails of drugs known as antiretroviral therapy or ART.