The World Health Organisation’s latest report on the AIDS pandemic says overall infections worldwide are up, but those infected are living longer thanks to the availability of drugs. It also seems the speed at which the disease is being contracted is falling, with new HIV infections falling 17 percent this decade.The data is pointing towards a stabilising of the disease, for which there is still no cure, but which can be checked with treatment. However, access to medicines remains a big issue: “With the fact that we have been able, with the support of different programmes, to scale up treatment programmes, which have been increased by tenfold during the last five years, we are seeing a decrease in mortality by 18 percent,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director Poor nations can ill afford expensive drugs, and in Africa 400,000 children are born every year with the infection transmitted from their mothers. The UN now says eliminating this transmission by 2015 is a major objective.
AIDS stabilising, but WHO says more drugs needed