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UNAIDS Releases Report Highlighting Gains, Gaps In Global HIV/AIDS Response

Ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference next week, UNAIDS on Wednesday launched a new report, titled “Together we will end AIDS” (.pdf), “that shows that a record eight million people are now receiving antiretroviral therapy [ARVs], and that domestic funding for HIV has exceeded global investments,” the U.N. News Centre reports (7/18). “In all low- and middle-income countries, the availability of antiretroviral drugs grew by more than 20 percent in just one year, compared to the latest figure of 6.6 million people covered in 2010, said the report,” Agence France-Presse writes (Sheridan, 7/19). “At that rate, the world should meet a U.N. goal of having 15 million people [in low- and middle-income countries] on treatment by 2015, the report found,” the Associated Press adds (Neergaard, 7/18). “Fewer people infected with HIV globally are dying as more of them get access to” ARVs, “particularly in sub-Saharan Africa,” Reuters notes (Beasley/Miles, 7/18). AIDS-related deaths “dropped 5.6 percent to 1.7 million in 2011 from the previous year,” Bloomberg writes, adding that deaths “peaked in 2005 and 2006 at 2.3 million and have been going down since then, according to the report” (Pettypiec/Langreth, 7/18).

With respect to funding, AFP writes in a separate article, “Overall, low- and middle-income countries invested $8.6 billion in responding to HIV/AIDS last year,” while funding from donor nations and international organizations to those countries “remained flat at 2008 levels” (Sheridan, 7/19). “According to the report, 81 countries increased their domestic investments for AIDS by more than 50 percent between 2006 and 2011,” and “[d]omestic public spending in sub-Saharan Africa, not including South Africa, increased by 97 percent over the last five years,” the U.N. News Centre adds (7/18). The UNAIDS report “points to a $7.2 billion funding gap, which it says the world must address by 2015 to treat everyone in need and to offer effective prevention interventions more widely,” Science Insider notes (Cohen, 7/18). Reuters provides highlights of the report in a factbox (7/18).