Over half of HIV-afflicted on life-saving treatment: UNAIDS

2.1 million HIV cases in India, 50% drop in new infections in past decade: UNAIDS report

2.1 million HIV cases in India, 50% drop in new infections in past decade: UNAIDS report

Some 36.7 million people around the world are infected with HIV, but more than half of them - 19.5 million - are getting the antiretroviral therapy medicines they need to suppress the HIV virus and keep their disease in check.

The U.N. AIDS agency said that deaths related to AIDS are also now close to half of the 2005 number albeit the figures are estimates and not based on actual counts.

The "scales have tipped" in the fight against Aids, with more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment and Aids-related deaths nearly halving since 2005, according to the UN.

In addition, the share of people with HIV who have access to medical treatment has risen above 50 per cent for the first time, according to data in the report.

Donor government funding to support HIV efforts in low- and middle-income countries decreased by US$511 million from US$7.5 billion in 2015 to US$7 billion in 2016, finds a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

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Just over half of people living with HIV in the region know their HIV status.

"While we are now seeing positive results in the reduction of deaths and new infections, Myanmar momentum must be sustained to achieve its goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat, by 2030", Tawil said.

UNAIDS expressed concern about two regions with worsening AIDS trends: the Middle East-North Africa, and eastern Europe-central Asia. It did not specify a time period. For example, Algeria has increased HIV treatment access from 24% in 2010 to 76% in 2016, Morocco from 16% in 2010 to 48% in 2016 and Belarus from 29% in 2010 to 45% in 2016.

In Asia and Pacific region, the most of new infections are taking place in 10 countries among which, India, China, Indonesia, are leading the list.

The United States alone is known to have 1.2 million people infected with HIV.

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These treatments are costly and have side effects, but they have revolutionized the health status of people living with hiv and lengthened their life expectancy. UNAIDS said how the region is progressing to the 2020 target of having 90 per cent of PLWA knowing their status, 90 per cent of diagnosed people accessing treatment and 90 per cent of those treated achieving viral suppression (90-90-90). Deaths caused by AIDS have fallen from 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016.

Young people, who are at particular risk of HIV, are also falling behind - on knowledge of HIV, on HIV testing, and on treatment and prevention.

"Globally, progress has been significant, but there is still more work to do", the authors said in a statement.

The report notes that about three-quarters of pregnant women with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, now have access to medicines to prevent them from passing it to their babies.

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