Thursday 22 March 2018

HIV/AIDS epidemic will be over by 2030, experts predict

Charie Cooper

The global HIV/Aids epidemic could be over by 2030, a leading United Nation official has said, as new figures showed that infection rates have dropped by a third since 2001.

Across the world there were 2.3 million new HIV infections in 2012, down 33pc, while new infections among children have dropped even further, down 52pc to 260,000.

Speaking in New York, Dr Luiz Loures, the deputy executive director of the UN's HIV/Aids agency (UNAIDS), said that ending the epidemic in just 17 years' time was a realistic goal.

"I think that 2030 is a viable target to say that we have reached the end of the epidemic," Dr Loures said.

"HIV will continue existing as a case here or there but not at the epidemic level we have today. We can get to the end of the epidemic because we have treatments and ways to control the infection."

Progress has been made both in the treatment and control of HIV, Dr Loures said. Aids-related deaths have dropped by 30pc, since peaking at 2.3 million worldwide in 2005.

Huge strides have been made since the UN targeted the HIV/Aids epidemic in 2000 with its landmark Millennium Development Goals, which set out aims for poverty and disease reduction for 2015. "Over the years, the gloom and disappointments chronicled in the early editions of the UNAIDS global report on the Aids epidemic have given way to more promising tidings," said UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé in this year's report. © Independent News Service)

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