UNAIDS reports a more than 50% drop in new HIV infections across 25 countries as countries approach the 1000 day deadline to achieve global AIDS targets

In addition, the number of people with access to antiretroviral therapy increased by 63 % in the last 24 months—AIDS-related deaths fell by more than 25% between 2005 and 2011 globally. GENEVA, 20 November 2012—A new World AIDS Day report: Results, by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), shows that unprecedented acceleration in the AIDS response is producing results for people. The report shows that a more than 50% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections has been achieved across 25 low – and middle-income countries––more than half in Africa, the region most affected by HIV.

In some of the countries which have the highest HIV prevalence in the world, rates of new HIV infections have been cut dramatically since 2001; by 73% in Malawi, 71% in Botswana, 68% in
Namibia, 58% in Zambia, 50% in Zimbabwe and 41% in South Africa and Swaziland.

In addition to welcome results in HIV prevention, sub -Saharan Africa has reduced AIDS-related deaths by one third in the last six years and increased the number of people on antiretroviral treatment by 59% in the last two years alone.

“The pace of progress is quickening—what used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We are scaling up faster and smarter than ever before. It is the proof that with political will and follow through we can reach our shared goals by 2015.”

For example, South Africa increased its scale up of HIV treatment by 75% in the last two years—ensuring 1.7 million people had access to the lifesaving treatment—and new HIV infections have fallen by more th an 50 000 in just two years. During this period, South Africa also increased its domestic investments on AIDS to US$ 1.6 billion, the highest by any low – and middle-income country.

The report also shows that countries are assuming shared responsibility by increasing domestic investments. More than 81 countries increased domestic investments by 50% between 2001 and 2011. The new results come as the AIDS response is in a 1000 day push to reach the Millennium Development Goals and the 2015 targets of the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

Declining new HIV infections in children The area where perhaps most progress is being made is in reducing new HIV infections in children. Half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborn children. “It is becoming evident that achieving zero new HIV infections in children is possible,” said Mr Sidibé. “I am excited that far fewer babies are being born with HIV. We are moving from despair to hope.”

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