Fight Against AIDS Makes ‘Dramatic’ Progress, Says U.N.

Health & Family

The number of AIDS-related deaths and the rate of new HIV infections have both dropped dramatically as access to better treatments has increased, according to a new report from the U.N.

AIDS-related deaths fell to 1.6 million in 2012, a decline of 30% from 2005 when the death toll was at its highest.

The number of new HIV infections dropped by a third from 2001 to 2012, with 2.3 million new infections recorded last year. Among children, new infections halved in the same period.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be kept under control with drugs known as antiretroviral treatment or therapy. By the end of 2012, around 9.7 million people in low- and medium-income countries had access to these treatments  — an increase of almost 20% in a year.

In 2011, U.N. member states set a target of having 15 million people with access to HIV treatment by 2015. The organization’s…

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