Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Halting and Reversing the AIDS Epidemic

The most effective way to do your part to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic is to be in the know by getting tested and knowing your status. HIV/AIDS prevention methods, such as testing, have successfully slowed the AIDS epidemic worldwide. New research findings, released by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), suggest the disease may be fully eradicated by 2030, just 15 years after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were first created as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2000, eight MDGs were created to tackle a range of issues such as global education and children's health. MDG 6 specifically focused on tackling HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases across the world. Two targets were set to combat HIV/AIDS:

  • To achieve universal access to treatment for all those who need it by 2010; and,
  • To have halted the disease by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In the year MDGs were developed, the world experienced an extraordinary surge of new HIV cases. An estimated 3.1 million HIV new infections were recorded, with 8,500 people becoming newly infected and 4,300 people dying of AIDS-related illnesses every day. In 2000, it was estimated new HIV infections would rise to 6 million by 2014 if urgent action and measures were not taken.
However, the report reveals that between 2000 and 2014:
  • New HIV infections dropped from 3.1 million to 2 million, a reduction of 35%
  • 15 million people now have access to antiretroviral therapy
  • Among those infected, deaths from tuberculosis fell by 33%
  • 83 countries that account for 83% of all people living with HIV/AIDS have now halted and reversed the epidemics
  • The percentage of pregnant women living with HIV with access to antiretroviral therapy rose to 73% and new HIV infections among children dropped by 58%
  • The price of medicines for HIV has decreased by 99%
Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) offers screening, diagnosis and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at our Lakewood site, 645 Parfet Street. Visit the JCPH HIV website for more information.

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