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Thursday November 26, 11:18

AIDS: new HIV infections fell by 17%

Since 2001, the date of signing of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, the number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa has declined by nearly 15%, which represents about 400,000 infections in 2008.

In East Asia, new HIV infections have fallen by about 25% and in South Asia and South East 10% during the same period. In Eastern Europe, after a dramatic increase in new infections among injecting drug users, the epidemic has stabilized considerably. However, in some countries, there are indications that the number of new HIV infections still increases.

The report, released today by Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and WHO, said that beyond the peak and the natural course of the epidemic, programs for HIV prevention make a difference.

"The good news is that we have evidence that the decline we are seeing is due, at least in part, to HIV prevention," said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS. "However, the findings also show that prevention programs are often not up and if we can do better so that resources and programs are directed where they will have the most impact, more progress can be made faster and more lives can be saved."

It is estimated that:

  • 33.4 million [31.1 million-35, 8 million] people living with HIV worldwide
  • 2.7 million [2.4 million-3, 0 million] people were newly infected in 2008
  • 2 million [1.7 million-2.4 million] people died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2008

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