HIV patients are living 20 years longer than in 2001
According to the UN's Programme on HIV and AIDS, people with HIV are living 19 years longer than in 2001. The current life expectancy for people HIV/AIDS is now 55 years.
Antiretrovial drugs have become cheaper and more accessible, reaching the UN's goal of reaching 15 million people. In 2000, fewer than 700,000 people had access to the antidote.
This progress is promising, however world governments have a five-year window to continue to curb the spread of HIV. This can only be done through increase in funding for research and government treatment programs, and by educating populations at high risk to end discrimination.
Currently between 34.3 and 41.4 million people are living with HIV. The majority of these cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the current rate of AIDS related deaths has fallen by 48% since 2000. The cost of antiretroviral treatment has also fallen from $18,000 to $100 during the same time, leading to a decrease of 1 million new infections.
UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon says the goal to eliminate the virus in 2030 is ambitious but can be accomplished if the focus remains on developing nations, where HIV coverage can be as low as 17%.
Cover image: Wikimedia Commons