'8 million people receiving HIV/AIDS therapy'

New York, US (PANA) - Ahead of the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, US, next week, the UN has launched a new report that shows that a record eight million people are
now receiving antiretroviral therapy, and that domestic funding for HIV has exceeded global investments.

A statement on the report, entitled: ''Together we will end AIDS,'' said low- and middle-income countries invested US$8.6 billion for the HIV/AIDS response in 2011, an increase of 11 per cent over 2010.

The statement, made available to PANA in New York Thursday, however noted that international funding remained flat at 2008 levels – US$8.2 billion.

It quoted Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which produced the report, as saying this is an era of global solidarity and mutual accountability.

''Countries most affected by the epidemic are taking ownership and demonstrating leadership in responding to HIV. However, it is not enough for international assistance to remain stable – it has to increase if we are to meet the 2015 goals,'' Sidibe said.

He said halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS, as well as achieving universal access to treatment for the disease, were among the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.

According to the report, 81 countries increased their domestic investments for AIDS by more than 50 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

''As economies in low- and middle-income countries grow, domestic public investments for AIDS have also grown,'' the report said. ''Domestic public spending in sub-Saharan Africa, not
including South Africa, increased by 97 per cent over the last five years. South Africa already spends more than 80 per cent from domestic sources and has quadrupled its domestic investments between 2006 and 2011.''

The report also revealed that BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) increased domestic public spending on HIV by more than 120 per cent between 2006 and 2011, adding: ''BRICS countries now fund, on average, more than 75 per cent of their domestic AIDS responses.''

It said HIV funding from the international community, on the other hand, has largely been stable between 2008 and 2011, at US$8.2 billion. Funding from the United States accounts for nearly 48 per cent of all international assistance for AIDS.

The report also gives new data showing that an estimated 34.2 million people were living with HIV in 2011.

In 2010, UNAIDS reported that at least 56 countries had either stabilised or achieved significant declines in rates of new HIV infections.

''This trend has been maintained and new HIV infections have fallen by nearly 20 per cent in the last 10 years worldwide. New data shows that 2.5 million people were newly infected with HIV, 100,000 fewer than the 2.6 million new infections in 2010,'' the report said.

It said some 4.9 million young people were living with HIV, 75 per cent of them in sub-Saharan Africa, and that globally, young women between 15 and 24 years of age remain the most vulnerable to HIV, and that an estimated 1.2 million women and girls were newly infected with HIV in 2011.

The report also outlines the significant progress that has been made in reducing new HIV infections in children, saying since 2009, new infections in children have fallen by an estimated
24 per cent, and that some 330 000 children were newly infected in 2011, almost
half than at the peak of the epidemic in 2003 (570,000).

Starting on Sunday, the 19th International AIDS Conference is expected to bring together leading scientists, public health experts, policy-makers and the HIV-affected community to translate recent scientific advances into action within the current context of global
economic challenges.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 19July2012

19 july 2012 08:25:36




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