AIDS advocacy group predicts the beginning of the end

AIDS advocacy group predicts the beginning of the end

Continued progress at this rate would mean the beginning of the end of AIDS by 2015.

Advocacy organization ONE released a report in honor of World AIDS Day that provides an optimistic outlook of the war against AIDS.  The report follows up on a 2012 report that identifies key targets to make headway against the disease.  Based on levels of progress at that time, ONE assessed that AIDS would not reach the beginning of its end until 2022.

Now, the world has achieved marked progress on these same targets.  Based on new calculations by ONE, continued progress at this rate would mean the beginning of the end of AIDS by 2015.  The three key targets are: 1) the virtual elimination of all mother-to-child transmission of HIV; 2) access to treatment for 15 million HIV-positive individuals; and 3) the drastic reduction of new HIV infections, to 1.1 million or fewer.

The calculations of ONE were based on declining trends in new infections and increasing trends in those newly added to treatment.  However, ONE notes that progress is being stunted in some areas, with a small handful of countries not showing progress while others have made drastic improvements.  Medical News Today reports that, even in the U.S., HIV is not under control among most infected Americans.  While there is access to treatment, more steps have to be taken to get HIV under control before it turns into AIDS.

Improvements around the world were most marked in those newly added to AIDS treatment.  In 2012, there were 1.6 million added to treatment and, in 2013, there were 2.3 million.  Reduction of new infections was smaller, dropping from 2.2 million to 2.1 million.  However, ONE points out that some countries showed dramatic improvements, particularly in reduction of new infections in children by over 50 percent.  Despite mixed statistics, ONE is optimistic that the end of AIDS may be near if these efforts continue.

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