AIDS-Related Deaths at Their Lowest According to New Report [Video]

AIDS Related Deaths at Their Lowest According to New ReportAccording to a newly released report from the United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS), AIDS-related deaths are at their lowest since peaking nearly a decade ago. The number of people living with HIV worldwide has not changed much in the past two years and more than half of those infected do not know their HIV status.

Although more than two million new infections were documented last year UNAIDS has revealed a strategy to get to zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030. The agency’s tactic includes ensuring all individuals in need of treatment are on it by 2015. According to the report, UNAIDS strongly suggests that we are at the beginning of the end of this AIDS epidemic. Their goal is to reduce new cases and deaths by 90 percent by the year 2030.

A senior lecturer in public health at Queen Mary University of London, Sophie Harman, said it would be more helpful to think about managing it because the idea of ending AIDS is unrealistic. She said everyone can get behind ending AIDS but the report does not really clarify how to do that.

Some scientists who agree with Harman believe that ending HIV may be more idealistic rather than practical due to millions of people becoming newly infected in conjunction with the high number of people already carrying the virus. A professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Shabbar Jaffar, said progress has been made without a doubt but the number of people getting infected is still extremely high. He said it is misleading to suggest that we are close to eliminating the AIDS virus. According to Jaffar, the road ahead is long and will get more difficult and no one really knows exactly what the end will look like.

More people with the HIV virus are getting the lifesaving medications they need according to the UNAIDS report. The report also states AIDS-related deaths are down by 35 percent and the number of new infections is at its lowest point. Executive director of the agency, Michel Sidibe, said in a news release,

If we accelerate all HIV scale-up by increasing efforts to fight the virus by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030. If not, we risk significantly increasing the time it would take – at least a decade, if not more. The gap between people who are aware of the HIV status and those who are not needs to be tightened.

Although the report states an estimated 35 million people are still living with HIV, the trend in recent years is promising. New HIV infections have dropped 13 percent and are reportedly at the lowest they have been in a decade. Also, since 2001 new HIV infections reported among children is 58 percent lower worldwide.

An increasing number of people who have the virus are receiving lifesaving drugs which are effective against retroviruses. Last year 2.3 million more patients received access to these antiretroviral medications increasing the total number to nearly 13 million by the close of the year. This news is encouraging but many still question setting such a high goal of elimination by 2030.

While the report contains good news we cannot overlook the 19 million people who are infected with the HIV virus but do not know it. It is of the utmost importance for people to get tested in order to close that gap. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular screenings in order to harness the virus from spreading unknowingly.

In 2012 and 2013, UNAIDS estimated there were about 35 million people living with HIV. For those who have already acquired a sexually transmitted disease there is a forum for discussion on PositiveSingles.com for those with questions and concerns. Not only can forums be found on this site but people can blog as a way to receive and give support. Blogs are a great way to tell people about issues as well as offer an opportunity to get to know others living with STDs.

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PositiveSingles.com is an exclusive community of warm-hearted singles and friends who have tested positive for STDs. Not only can people find information about STDs and medical treatments but they can also meet new friends, potential spouses or partners. PositiveSingles has members in the United States, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.

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According to a newly released report from UNAIDS, although AIDS-related deaths are at their lowest since peaking nearly a decade ago those living with the virus is virtually unchanged. Positive Singles was created for the countless people who have already tested positive.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

Sources:

CBS News
WebMD
Positive Singles

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