A report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) announces today in Addis Abeba that sixth Millennium Development Goal of halting and reversing the spread of HIV has been achieved and exceeded nine months ahead of schedule.
The report, “How AIDS Changed Everything,” officially released today at Zewuditu Memorial Hospital on a sideline event the Third Finance for Development Conference, declares that new HIV infections have fallen by 35 per cent and AIDS related deaths by 41 per cent. The global response to the epidemic has averted 30 million new HIV infections and 7.8 million AIDS related deaths.
Speaking at the launching of the report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon congratulates the world for having delivered the needed results. “Together we have changed the world,” he said. “We are on our way for an HIV free generation, making new promises to sustainable, equitable and healthy future” referring to the Sustainable Development Goals which in this regard aims to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Currently “we have 15 million people on treatment,” worldwide maintained Michele Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “15 million success stories.” In 2014, according to the report, 83 countries, which account 83 per cent of all people living with HIV have halted or reversed their epidemic.
Relating the Ethiopian experience, Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health said that the HIV prevalence in the country has lowered down to 1.1 per cent, while 360 000 people are on life saving anti-retroviral medicines. 34 million people live with HIV currently. Sub-Saharan Africa registers 90 per cent of the transmission of the virus from mother to child.