The End Of AIDS?
The United Nations this summer announced triumphantly -in the run up to yet another global conference- the end of AIDS by 2030. The spread of HIV will be more controlled or contained and the impact of the virus on societies and on people's lives will have been reduced by significant declines in ill health, stigma, deaths and the number of AIDS orphans. Medical journal The Lancet wrote: "In 2013 there were 1.8 million new HIV infections, 29.2 million HIV cases and 1.3 million HIV deaths as opposed to the epidemic's peak in 2005, when the disease took 1.7 million lives." The Lancet also notes that anti-AIDS drugs have saved more than 19 million years of human life since 1990, 70 per cent of them in developing countries. But Stephen Lewis (United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa) said: "It's premature to declare victory. To have any chance of actually "ending AIDS", developed nations need to increase funding for research and, very importantly, to expand the application globally of treatment as prevention (also known as 'test and treat'). Also very important are sexual education of children and teenagers and contraceptive assistance to poor countries." Although the statistics are good, the fight against AIDS continues!