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The UN has reached its goal to treat 15 million people living with HIV.

The UN has reached its goal to treat 15 million people living with HIV.

According to an article written by BBC news, the UN has achieved its target of treating 15 million people living with HIV as of March 2015 – 9 months before the planned schedule end. This landmark target has been reached thanks to global efforts to get anti-retroviral drugs to those who need it most including those living in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN first started their plan in 2000, where fewer than 700,000 people living with HIV were receiving adequate treatment.

A recently release UN Aids report states that the global response to HIV as prevented.

30 million new HIV infections and just short of 8 million AIDS related deaths since the year 2000. Over the last fourteen and a half years the number of new HIV infections has fallen from 2.6 million per year to 1.8 million. AIDS related deaths have dropped from 1.6 million per year to 1.2 million. UN Aids still feels that this is too high but it is a substantial step to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS.

Part of this improvement has been due to greater money investment which sat at US$4.8 billion in 2000 and has now increased to US$20 billion as of 2014.

UN Aids is optimistic that continued effort may be able to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 but the next 5 years will be vitally important.

 

Area for improvement

Despite all the good news there have been certain areas that lag behind. One such area is the awareness of HIV as people who do not know they are infected are not going to seek treatment.

Treatment for children has also faltered but is showing signs of improvement. Children receiving antiretroviral treatment increased from 14% in 2010 to 32% in 2014.

Vineeth, 7 months old male kid, reported HIV-positive lying at an orphanage in Madras, India, Tuesday 29th November, 2005. Vineeth abandoned by his parent at Guild of Service and transfered to Community Health Education Society (CHES), an orphanage for HIV/AIDS infected, affected and Vulnerable Children, funded by Family Health International, Washington D.C. More than 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, according to latest figures from UNAIDS. World Aids Day will be observed on Dec. 1. (AP photo/ M.Lakshman)

Vineeth, 7 months old male kid, reported HIV-positive lying at an orphanage in Madras, India, Tuesday 29th November, 2005. Vineeth abandoned by his parent at Guild of Service and transfered to Community Health Education Society (CHES), an orphanage for HIV/AIDS infected, affected and Vulnerable Children, funded by Family Health International, Washington D.C. More than 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, according to latest figures from UNAIDS. World Aids Day will be observed on Dec. 1. (AP photo/ M.Lakshman)

 

Those most in need

Sub-Saharan Africa has suffered the most with regards to HIV and AIDS accounting for 66% of all new worldwide HIV infections in 2014. When last checked 25.8 million people in this area were confirmed as living with HIV – that is almost five times the total population of Singapore! Also something to bear in mind is that the worldwide number of people living with HIV is estimated at 36.9 million so we can see that Sub-Saharan Africa makes up a staggering 70% of worldwide infections.

 

Onwards march

So the UN Aids report is strikingly positive showing that globally we are making huge strides to reducing the burden of HIV and AIDS but as with any battle we must not be complacent.

Should you have any concerns on HIV or AIDS you can always speak to one of our doctors at any of our clinics here.

“The world has delivered on halting and reversing the Aids epidemic” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33509656

http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2015/july/20150714_PR_MDG6report

 

The BBC reports that an 18 year old French woman is currently still in remission for HIV despite stopping her medication almost 12 years ago. This is the first long term remission from HIV in a child and is being discussed at the International Aids Society (IAS) in Canada.

The 18 year old was born in 1996 and contracted HIV from her mother either during the pregnancy or during child birth. At 3 months of age she was given anti-retroviral medication. She continued this medication until 6 years of age when her family decided to stop the medication. Twelve years later the level of the virus in her system remains undetectable.

However it is important to note that this may change in the future and levels may again rise in the absence of medication.

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One theory as to why her course has panned out this way is that she received anti-retroviral medication from a very early stage in infection and many experts are stating the importance of early commencement of medication regardless of infection route or age. Essentially they believe the earlier someone starts the medication the better.

A similar case that came to prominence two years ago was the case of the Mississippi bay in America. Also contracting HIV from her mother at birth, she was believed to have been free of HIV after starting HIV treatment within 30 hours of diagnosis but her remission lasted only 2 years after stopping medication. Her viral load then became detectable and she has subsequently been restarted on medication.

Either way, the case highlighted by this French teenager is promising but larger studies need to be conducted before any firm evidence can be garnered.

Watch this space.

For more information on HIV and HIV testing please check our other articles or visit us here.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33542749


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