More Than 18 Million People Now Have Access to AIDS Treatment
The AIDS epidemic has infected 78 million people. This has already resulted in 35 million deaths since AIDS was discovered in the 1980’s. The consistently strong changes in treatment has resulted in the annual AIDS-related deaths drop by 45 percent to 1.1 million in 2015. The peak was in 2005 with two million deaths.
Michael Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, said, “The progress we have made is remarkable, particularly around treatment, but it is also incredibly fragile.” Data from the report indicates some of the many complexities of the HIV epidemic such as the fact that people are particularly vulnerable to HIV at certain points in their lives. The report called for a “life-cycle” approach to offer help and prevention measures for everyone at every stage of life.
One of the major complications of AIDS is the fact that as people grow older they are at risk of developing long-term-side effects from the treatment they have been on through the years.
Statistics in South Africa show that young women are often infected with HIV who catch the virus from older men. According to Sidibe, “Young women are facing a triple threat. They are at high risk of HIV infection, have low rates of HIV testing, and have poor adherence to treatment.”
The report says the number of people with HIV receiving life saving drugs was 18.2 million. It showed that the rapid progress in getting AIDS drugs to those who need them is having a significant life-extending impact.