A week before World AIDS Day, UNAIDS,
the United Nations AIDS program, offered some encouraging news.
Estimates show that new HIV infections
peaked in 2000 – and have since fallen by 35 percent – while
AIDS-related deaths have fallen a startling 42 percent since a peak
Additionally, roughly 15.8 million
people are currently on HIV treatment. That's a huge increase from
the 2.2 million on treatment ten years ago.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe
told reporters on Tuesday that the number of people on life-saving
treatment doubles every five years.
“Today, we can say we move from
despair to hope,” he said during a briefing, Reuters reported.
“If we manage to sustain our
investment and … double the numbers of people put on treatment, we
can really break the backbone of this epidemic,” Sidibe said.
An estimated 36.9 million people at the
end of 2014 were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.