Wednesday 21 November 2012

AIDS - good news and bad news

The United Nation’s latest report on the prevalence of the AIDS virus across the world shows that the number of children newly infected last year is nearly a quarter fewer than the figure for 2009, though that still means there were 330,000 new infections.

The number of new infections among adults on the other hand has remained broadly stable for the last four years at about 2.5 million.   Across the world, 34 million people are thought to have the virus.

Over recent years, the number of victims receiving drugs that can keep the virus at bay has increased substantially, but the report reckons that 7 million people who need them still do not get them.   Sub-Saharan Africa remains the part of the world that is worst hit, though some countries there have managed to reduce the number of new cases.

In contrast, the number of new infections in Russia is growing, and there have been increases in AIDS-related deaths in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.  The UN has ambitious targets to reduce the spread of the virus and provide treatment for all who need it by 2015.

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