“Yes We Can” beat HIV!

“Yes We Can” beat HIV!

Date: December 6, 2010
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Less people are becoming infected with HIV and less people are dying according to a UNAIDS report released in time for this year’s World AIDS Day.

The results of the 2010 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic are encouraging and contain basic HIV data from 182 countries, including country-by-country scorecards. It provides new evidence that investments in HIV prevention programming are producing significant results in many of the highest burden countries.

From 2001 to 2009, the rate of new HIV infections stabilised or decreased by more than 25% in at least 56 countries around the world, including 34 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the five countries with the largest epidemics in the region, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have reduced rates of new HIV infections by more than 25%, while Nigeria’s epidemic has stabilised.

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region most affected by the epidemic with 69% of all new HIV infections. In seven countries, mostly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, new HIV infection rates have increased by 25%.

Among young people in 15 of the most severely affected countries, the rate of new HIV infections has fallen by more than 25%, due to young people adopting safer sexual practices. In South Africa, the rate of new HIV infections among 18-year-olds declined sharply from 1.8% in 2005 to 0.8% in 2008 and among young women 15-24 years old, it dropped from 5.5 to 2.2% between 2003 and 2008.

In 59 countries, including 18 of the 25 countries with the highest HIV prevalence, less than 25% of men reported having sex with more than one partner in the last 12 months. While 84 countries reported similar behaviour trends for women.

Condom use and availability have increased significantly. Eleven countries – from Burkina Faso, to India, and Peru – report more than 75% of people use condoms. Data from 78 countries show that condom use among men who have sex with men was more than 50% in 54 countries. Reports of condom use by sex workers are also encouraging. In 69 countries, more than 60% of sex workers used a condom with their last client.

Access to HIV prevention services, including harm reduction programmes for people who inject drugs, has reached 32% – far short of what is needed to protect drug users from HIV worldwide. Even though many countries have included male circumcision in their prevention programmes, uptake at a population level remains low and has not made a significant impact on the rate of new HIV infections.


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