In its latest report, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), reveals that the AIDS epidemic is beginning to stabilize, and that there has been a noticeable decline in new infections and deaths associated with HIV. around the world.
The report collects data on the evolution of AIDS and show that in 2009 there was a decrease of almost 20% in the number of people infected -2.6 million - compared with the figures of 1999, when they were infected 3.1 millions. In addition, while 2.1 million patients died in 2004, 1.8 million people affected by AIDS died in 2009.
Although experts have estimated that 33.3 million people were infected with HIV at the end of 2009, more than 32.8 million in 2008, this is attributed to the fact that the life expectancy of those affected is now greater thanks to that they are more what they access to the treatment with antiretroviral therapies.
Between 2001 and 2009, the rate of new infections stabilized or decreased more than 25% in at least 56 countries, 34 of which are located in sub-Saharan Africa, the area where the greatest number of affected people is concentrated worldwide.
Despite these positive data, from UNAIDS they warn that in seven countries, most of which are in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the rates of new HIV infections have increased by 25%.
AIDS treatment more accessible
The report corroborates that those infected with HIV now have a longer life expectancy and that deaths due to their cause also decrease, thanks mainly to the fact that the treatment of AIDS is accessible to a greater number of patients.
According to the data handled by UNAIDS, the number of people treated has increased 7.5 times in the last five years, from 700,000 people in 2004 to 5,200,000 in 2009. Only in the last year, 1.2 million of more people agreed to the therapies, which constitutes an increase of 30% compared to 2008.
On the other hand, and thanks to the adoption of precautions when having sex, new infections among young people in the 15 countries most affected by the epidemic, have fallen by more than 25%.
AIDS in Africa
The new report refers especially to the AIDS situation in Africa, as this is the continent most affected by the disease, since only 69% of all new infections in the world accumulate in sub-Saharan Africa. On a positive note, UN experts point out that HIV infections in children have fallen by 32% in sub-Saharan Africa.
In four of the five countries with the highest infection rates in the area - Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe - new HIV infections have fallen by more than 25%, while in Nigeria the epidemic has stabilized.
In South Africa, where the largest number of infected people on the planet -5.6 million, more than 10% of the population- is concentrated, the rate of new infections in 18-year-olds has fallen from 1.8% in 2005 to 0 , 8% in 2008, while among young women between the ages of 15 and 24, it went from 5.5% to 2.2% percent between 2003 and 2008.