GENEVA, 23 November 2010
Text: UNAIDS Photos Action Press/Virot
A new report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), released today, shows that the AIDS epidemic is beginning to change course as the number of people newly infected with HIV is declining and AIDS-related deaths are decreasing. Together, this is contributing to the stabilization of the total number of people living with HIV in the world.
Data from the 2010 UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic shows that an estimated 2.6 million [2.3 million–2.8 million] people became newly infected with HIV, nearly 20% fewer than the 3.1 million [2.9 million–3.4 million] people infected in 1999.
In 2009, 1.8 million [1.6 million–2.1 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses, nearly one-fifth lower than the 2.1 million [1.9 million–2.3 million] people who died in 2004.
At the end of 2009, 33.3 million [31.4 million–35.3 million] people were estimated to be living with HIV, up slightly from 32.8 million [30.9 million–34.7 million] in 2008. This is in large part due to more people living longer as access to antiretroviral therapy increases. “We are breaking the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic with bold actions and smart choices,” said Mr Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Investments in the AIDS response are paying off, but gains are fragile—the challenge now is how we can all work to accelerate progress