WORLD AIDS DAY
As Nigeria today joins the rest of the world to mark 2015 World AIDS Day, the World Health Organisation, WHO, yesterday announced that the Millennium Development Goal that called for halting and reversing the spread of HIV on a global basis was met with 7.8 million lives saved in 15 years.
WHO also announced that the number of HIV deaths was reduced by 42 per cent by 2014 from a peak of more than 2 million in 2004 to an estimated 1.2 million.
The global health body, in a new report to mark this year’s World AIDS Day however noted that the world is poised to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The report tagged; “Global Health Sector Response to HIV 2000-2015”also observed that the projections of an end to the epidemic by 2030 once considered to be unattainable are now realistic.
According to the report, “The rapid scale-up of access to Antiretroviral Therapy, ART, one of the greatest public health achievements in recent times, has made treatment available to more than 16 million people living with HIV across the globe.
“Today, more than 11 million people in the WHO African Region alone are receiving HIV treatment, versus about 11 000 who were taking the medications 15 years ago,” the report added.
Describing the progress as a thousand-fold increase, the report which noted that more must be done disclosed that globally 60 percent of all people living with HIV have not yet enrolled in antiretroviral treatment.
Reacting to the report in the statement, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti explained that in the last 15 years, new HIV infections have reduced by 41 per cent in the African Region, more than in any region in the world.