Latest UNAIDS Numbers Show We Have No Time to Waste in the AIDS Fight

 
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If there’s ever been a time to take action, it’s now. The latest numbers just came in from UNAIDS—the world’s main source for the latest AIDS info—and the data is alarming. The pace of progress in reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to treatment, and ending AIDS-related deaths is slowing down.

This year’s Global AIDS Update from UNAIDS, Communities at the Centre, shows a mixed picture. Some countries are making impressive gains, meanwhile others are experiencing rises in new infections and AIDS-related deaths. We’ll be talking about the details of the report a lot more over the next few months, but the key takeaway is that AIDS is very much still a crisis.

Here are some numbers you need to know:

  • 37.9 million people globally are living with HIV

  • 23.3 million people are accessing life-saving HIV treatment—meaning more than 62% of all people living with HIV are accessing the medicine they need to stay healthy and alive

  • 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV last year—equal to 3 people contracting HIV every minute

  • 770,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses last year

  • Over 400 babies are born every day with HIV

We’ve made so much progress in recent years, but unfortunately, it’s nowhere near enough. The findings in today’s UNAIDS report show that we’re completely off-track to hit key 2020 targets to eliminate new infections and end mother-to-child transmission of HIV. And on a worrying note, the gap between resource needs and resource availability is widening. For the first time since 2000, global financing for the AIDS response—from governments, multilateral institutions and other donors—declined by nearly US$ 1 billion.

We have absolutely no time to waste. We must take action now if we’re going to end AIDS, once and for all.