World on way to ‘generation free of AIDS’, says UN chief

July 14, 2015 12:11 pm
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says "the world has delivered" on its AIDS goals, with 15 million people receiving HIV treatment/AFP
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says “the world has delivered” on its AIDS goals, with 15 million people receiving HIV treatment/AFP

, ADDIS ABABA, Jul 14- UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon said Tuesday the world was headed for a “generation free of AIDS”, after UNAIDS reported a 35 percent drop in new HIV infections from 15 years ago.

“The world has delivered. We have achieved and exceeded the goals regarding AIDS. We have 15 million people on HIV treatment. We are on the way to a generation free of AIDS,” Ban said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he is attending a global development summit.

According to the UNAIDS report released on Tuesday in Geneva, there have been remarkable strides since the advent in 1996 of anti retroviral drugs, which suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Though not a cure, the therapy creates a virtuous circle. The less the virus is in circulation, the less likely it is that people become infected.

Although new HIV infections declined to two million in 2014 against 3.1 million 14 years ago and the number of new infections has noticeably decreased or remained stagnant, UNAIDS warned spending has plateaued and called for more to be done to roll back the virus.

There are currently 36.9 million people living with HIV around the world. Around March this year, 15 million of them were accessing anti retroviral therapy.

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