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15.8 Million: Number Of People On HIV Treatment According To UN AIDS Program

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The latest report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has found that around 15.8 million individuals are now receiving treatment for HIV.

The figure is considered to be double the number of treatment recipients from five years ago as more and more countries begin to adopt the agency's Fast-Track Strategy to improve HIV prevention strategies and delivery of treatment services.

The UNAIDS said that the response of national governments to HIV has significantly improved over the past decade and a half.

As recent as June 2015, approximately 15.8 million people in the world now have access to antiretroviral treatment. This is a vast improvement compared to the 7.5 million individuals in 2010 and the 2.2 million individuals in 2005 that were able to receive the virus-restricting therapy.

Last year, the agency revealed that new cases of HIV infections have dropped by as much as 35 percent compared to the numbers during the peak of the disease in 2000.

Deaths related to AIDS have also dropped by as much as 42 percent since incidents peaked in 2004.

UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé said that the number of patients receiving life-saving therapy have more than doubled every five years.

He added that it only takes one more push to finally halt the AIDS epidemic and prevent the disease from resurfacing.

The increase in the global number of HIV patients living longer and healthier lives is attributed to the life-saving benefits of antiretroviral treatment.

The UNAIDS estimates that there are around 36.9 million individuals living with HIV in the world today. Once they are diagnosed with the disease, these people require timely access to antiretroviral treatment.

Governments around the world are taking up measures to increase the number of HIV patients that have access to therapy by 2020.

The UNAIDS' Fast-Track approach was designed to help countries achieve the 90-90-90 goal of having 90 percent of HIV patients know about the status of their infection, 90 percent of individuals who are aware they have HIV receive treatment for their infection and 90 percent of HIV patients under treatment have reduced their viral loads.

"Today, we have more HIV prevention options than ever before," Sidibé said.

"With better data, we can become better match makers, finding the right prevention options for the right people."

Photo: Jon Rawlinson | Flickr 

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