Africa sees dramatic improvement in HIV treatment

Access to HIV treatment has improved greatly in sub-Saharan Africa — the region which has long been worst hit by the Aids epidemic — leading to a steady drop in deaths, the United Nations said on Monday.

“The most dramatic increases in anti-retroviral therapy coverage have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, with a 20% increase between 2009 and 2010 alone,” said UNAids, noting nevertheless that about 1.2-million people died of Aids-related illnesses in the region in 2010.

Universal access to treatment — defined as coverage of more than 80% — has been achieved in Botswana, Namibia and Rwanda, while Swaziland and Zambia have reported coverage levels of between 70% and 80%.

“Across cities and villages in sub-Saharan Africa, from Harare to Addis Ababa, to rural Malawi and South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, introducing HIV treatment has dramatically reduced Aids-related mortality,” said UNAids.

Coupled with the improved access to treatment, new HIV infections were also declining sharply.

“Since the peak of the epidemic in 1997, the total number of new HIV infections in the region has declined by more than 26%, from 2.6-million to 1.9-million,” said UNAids, the agency charged with the international campaign against the disease.

In South Africa, whose population of 5.6-million HIV-infected people is the biggest in the world, the incidence rate has fallen by a third between 2001 and 2009, from 2.4% to 1.5%.

The sub-Saharan African region continues to have the largest number of people infected with HIV.

In 2010, they made up about 68% or 22.9-million of all HIV-infected people. — AFP

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Kenya’s top court reviews disputed bid to change constitution

The Supreme Court ruling on the proposed constitutional changes, expected after three days of hearings this week, may have major consequences for the August 9 presidential and parliamentary polls.

Democracy delayed in Mali spurs sanctions from neighbours

Mali’s junta now finds itself ostracised by its regional peers – and at the centre of a dangerous new geopolitical game.

‘Armed bandit’ or ‘bandit terrorist’? In Nigeria, the game of...

Over the past two months a controversy has developed over the government’s desire to relabel armed outlaws as ‘bandit terrorists’.

Bring Patrice Lumumba home

The return of Patrice Lumumba’s remains must not be an occasion for Belgium to congratulate itself, but for a full accounting of the colonial violence that led to the assassination and coverup
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×