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New UN data released on Wednesday showed that the decline in new HIV infections which can lead to full-blown AIDS has slowed.
Globally, the number of new infections dropped by only 3.6 per cent between 2020 and 2021, the smallest annual decline in new HIV infections since 2016, said UNAIDS.
The agency warned that progress in prevention and treatment has faltered worldwide, putting millions of lives at risk.
“In 2021, there were 1.5 million new HIV infections and 650,000 AIDS-related deaths. This translates to 4,000 new HIV infections every day,” said Mary Mahy, UNAIDS Director a.i. Data for Impact.
“That’s 4,000 people who will need to be tested, started on treatment, avoid infecting their partners, and stay on treatment for the rest of their lives. It also translates to 1,800 deaths every day due to AIDS, or one death every minute.”
“In Danger”, the name of the latest report by the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS, coincides with the International AIDS Conference beginning this Wednesday in Montreal.
It shows how new HIV infections are now rising where they had been falling, in places such as Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous region.
In East and Southern Africa, rapid progress from previous years significantly slowed in 2021.
Despite effective HIV treatment and tools to prevent and detect infection, the pandemic has thrived during COVID-19, in mass displacement settings, and other global crises that have put a strain on resources and reshaped development financing decisions, to the detriment of HIV programmes.
“If current trends continue, we expect that, in 2025, we’ll have 1.2 million people newly infected with HIV in that year. Again, that’s three times more than the 2025 target of 370.000,” said Ms. Mahy.
Source: UN News