World has five years to secure victory in HIV fight

Published: November 19, 2014

Laura Lopez Gonzalez
Original Article:

We have bent the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic,” said the United Nations Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in its latest global report released last night. “Now we have five years to break the epidemic or we risk the epidemic springing back even stronger.”

The report cautions that eliminating HIV as a global health threat does not necessarily mean no new infections.

Instead, ramping up the HIV response through improved access to HIV treatment and prevention for high risk groups like sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM) will safeguard the world’s gains in reducing new infections and AIDS-related deaths, argues the report.

South Africa, alongside many of its neighbours, remains one of the 30 countries responsible for about 90 percent of all new HIV infection globally.

The new report scores South Africa high on preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission and on condom use among sex workers. More than 80 percent of HIV-positive expecting mums access antiretrovirals (ARVs) to prevent their unborn children from contracting the virus and a similar percentage of sex workers report using condoms with clients.

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