UN Report: We're Making Real Progress on AIDS

New infections down 33% between 2001 and 2012
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 7:05 AM CDT
UN Report: We're Making Real Progress on AIDS
In this Aug 21, 2013 photo, a volunteer, left, takes care of patients in a day-care room at a clinic for HIV and Tuberculosis patients, run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in suburbs of Yangon.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

The UN today released its annual report on the state of HIV/AIDS around the globe, and though the big number is still big—roughly 35.3 million people are currently infected with HIV—the report contains a laundry list of encouraging numbers. Highlights, per Reuters and the Guardian:

  • At its 2005 peak, AIDS-related deaths claimed 2.3 million lives; in 2012, that number was down to 1.6 million, a drop of 100,000 over the year prior.

  • Since 2001, the number of new infections per year has decreased 33%, a number that's even more substantial among children: That category saw a 52% drop. In the span of a year, the number of new infections sank by 200,000, to 2.3 million last year.
  • The Caribbean claims the biggest drop in new infections since 2001: 49%. In sub-Saharan Africa, that figure is 34%.
  • Antiretroviral drugs now reach 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries.
And the AFP notes that on Wednesday, a top UN official noted that the HIV epidemic—though not HIV itself—could be kaput by 2030. But the Guardian flags some problem spots, particularly in Africa, where some countries have seen a decrease in condom use (Niger, Senegal, Uganda), a rise in the number of sexual partners (Uganda as well, along with Ethiopia, Rwanda, and South Africa), and withering support for social-behavior campaigns. (More HIV stories.)

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