Fewer people around the world are dying from AIDS, thanks in part to improved treatment options: This is the result of the annual report of the United Nations Program on AIDS and HIV (UNAIDS) presented by the United Nations in Eshowe, South Africa.
A total of 770,000 people died in the autoimmune disease AIDS last year. Compared to the year 2010, this is a decrease of around one third. In 2018, around 1.7 million people would have been infected again - 16 percent less than nine years ago.
Therapies can prevent the onset of AIDS
In addition, the number of people infected with the HI virus receiving antiretroviral therapy is as high as ever: 23.3 out of 37.9 million people have access to such treatment. Antiretroviral therapy is the treatment with medication that slows down the growth of HIV in human cells and can delay the onset of AIDS for years. Properly used, this therapy can prevent transmission of the virus.
However, the UNAIDS report also contains alarming information on new infections: In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the number of HIV infections increased by 29 percent last year. In the Greater Region, which includes Russia, Ukraine and several other countries, around 1.7 million people are infected with HIV.
The world's most affected region continues to be East and South Africa. In 2018, 20.6 million people were living with HIV. But especially in South Africa, great progress can be observed: since 2010, the number of new infections and the number of deaths have fallen by 40 percent.