UNAIDS – This Year More Than 18 Million Are On HIV Treatment, A Million More Than 2015

The United Nations on Monday has reported that more than 18 million people now have access to the life - saving AIDS treatment which is 1.2 million more than was recorded at the end of 2015. 

In its report on the AIDS pandemic, which has infected 78 million people and killed 35 million since it began in the 1980s, UNAIDS said the consistently strong scale-up of treatment has seen annual AIDS-related deaths drop by 45 percent to 1.1 million in 2015 from a peak of about 2 million in 2005.

But, as more HIV-positive people live longer, the challenges of caring for them as they get
older, of preventing the virus spreading and of reducing new infections are tough, even though drugs can reduce virus levels in a patient's blood to near zero and significantly reduce the risk of passing it on, UNAIDS said.

"The progress we have made is remarkable, particularly around treatment, but it is also incredibly fragile," UNAIDS' executive director Michel Sidibe said as the report was published.

With detailed data showing some of the many complexities of the HIV epidemic, the report found that people are particularly vulnerable to HIV at certain points in their lives.

It called for "life-cycle" approach to offer help and prevention measures for everyone at every stage of life.

As people with HIV grow older, they are at risk of developing long-term side-effects from HIV treatment, developing drug resistance and requiring treatment for other illnesses such as tuberculosis and hepatitis C.

Read the original article on Businessinsider.

(Editing by naijacynth)

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