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New ARV drugs, early diagnosis key to beating AIDS epidemic: UNAIDS

Posted on November 20, 2017

Source: Reuters

New ARV drugs, early diagnosis key to beating AIDS epidemic: UNAIDS

"Developing new antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and using technology for early diagnosis are among steps needed to sustain momentum in fighting HIV/AIDS and ending the disease as a public health threat by 2030, UNAIDS said in a report on Monday.

The U.N. AIDS agency said that by June this year around 21 million people were receiving life-prolonging ARV treatment, with rapid progress seen over the past five years when the numbers of people accessing medication nearly doubled.

'The pace of scale-up has been particularly remarkable in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by the epidemic,' said the 'Right to Health' report, released in Khayelitsha township, some 30 km from Cape Town.

The number of people on treatment in the region surpassed all other regions combined in 2010 and presently accounts for 60 percent of all people on treatment. South Africa led the world with the number of people on treatment, at 4.2 million, followed by India, Mozambique and Kenya which have more than 1 million being treated.

UNAIDS said the worldwide expansion of ARV therapy was the main factor behind a 48 percent decline in deaths from AIDS-related illnesses, from a peak of 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016."

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