19,5 million people on life-saving HIV/Aids treatment - UNAIDS

2.1 million HIV cases in India, 50% drop in new infections in past decade: UNAIDS report

"If the dynamics of transmission are better understood and more people are put on antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV, India can bring down infection much faster", said Dr Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for India.

The WHO HIV drug resistance report 2017 shows that mathematical modelling shows an additional 135,000 deaths and 105,000 new infections could follow in the next five years, if no action was taken, adding that HIV treatment costs could increase by an additional US$650 million (N260 billion) during the period time. "We are saving lives".

In addition, the annual number of people who die from AIDS has almost halved from 1.9 million to 1 million between 2005 and 2016, according to the UNAIDS agency. The year 2016 saw 1.8 million new infections, nearly half the record number of some 3.5 million in 1997, said UNAIDS.

New infections from HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have nearly halved in India over the past decade, but decline has to be greater to end AIDS by 2030.

"Communities and families are thriving as Aids is being pushed back", UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said on Thursday.

"While we are now seeing positive results in the reduction of deaths and new infections, Myanmar momentum must be sustained to achieve its goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat, by 2030", Tawil said.

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The report also concluded that in India, a respondent-driven sampling survey across 26 cities found that knowledge of HIV status was 41% among people who are living with HIV and those who injected drugs.

If left unmanaged, the HIV infection destroys the immune system, causing individuals to die from other infections such as tuberculosis, according to the BBC.

"However, there is still a significant proportion of people (48 per cent) not yet accessing treatment". This has increased the life expectancy in numerous worst affected regions such as eastern and southern Africa.

Young people, who are at particular risk of HIV, are also falling behind - on knowledge of HIV, on HIV testing, and on treatment and prevention. In 90 percent of those, the virus will be "suppressed" by medicine to the extent that it can not function or replicate.

Most of the newly infected children were in Somalia and Sudan, which together accounted for around two thirds of the total. In 2016, over two thirds, i.e. 70% of all individuals are aware of their HIV status. It has decentralised HIV services that are now available even in remote rural areas. In the Middle East and North Africa, the number of AIDS deaths increased by a fifth in the last six years. UNAIDS said how the region is progressing to the 2020 target of having 90 per cent of PLWA knowing their status, 90 per cent of diagnosed people accessing treatment and 90 per cent of those treated achieving viral suppression (90-90-90).

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