You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

World AIDS Day 2016: Officials push for testing, awareness


Officials worldwide are pushing for HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and treatment access as health officials mark World Aids Day on Thursday.

>> Read more trending stories

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 36.7 million people across the globe are living with HIV/AIDS. The illnesses claim more than 1 million lives each year, the agency said.

However, the World Health Organization noted that in 2015 the epidemic claimed fewer lives than it had at any point in nearly two decades. Health officials credited the expanded use of antiretroviral therapy, which has brought the number of HIV-related deaths down by 45 percent since 2005.

"With access to treatment, people living with HIV are living longer. Investing in treatment is paying off," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAID), in a statement Thursday. "AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life."

The agency is behind what's known as the "90-90-90" goals, which aim to raise the number of people who know their HIV status, get them treatment if needed and have that treatment be effective.

"The success we have achieved so far gives us hope for the future, but as we look ahead we must remember not to be complacent," Sidibe said. "We cannot stop now."

In America, health officials encouraged leaders to strengthen commitments to end HIV infections with the day's theme, "Leadership. Commitment. Impact."

"Thirty-five years ago the first documented cases of AIDS brought about an era of uncertainty, fear, and discrimination," President Barack Obama said Wednesday. "But in the decades since those first cases, with ingenuity, leadership, research, and historic investments in evidence-based practices, we have begun to move toward an era of resilience and hope -- and we are closer than ever to reaching an AIDS-free generation."

About 39,500 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States last year, health officials said. More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV – and about one in eight don't realize it.

Between 2005 and 2014, new HIV diagnoses fell by 19 percent, according to the CDC.

"We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere," Sidibe said.

Health officials estimate that 2.1 million people are newly infected by HIV annually, a majority of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the large number, the World Health Organization said the number of new infections was at its lowest point in the last 25 years.

Countries are working toward goals set by UNAIDS. By 2020, the health organization aims for 90 percent of all people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection to receive antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people who are getting antiretroviral therapy to have viral suppression.

The push is credited with revving up global efforts to fight HIV. As of June 2016, 18.2 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection, up from the 7.5 million receiving treatment at the end of 2010, according to the CDC.

World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day recognized by officials. It was launched in 1988 and is held on Dec. 1 each year to increase awareness, show support to those living with HIV and remember those who have died.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Lifestyle

Stop trashing our parks – learn Leave No Trace ethics
Stop trashing our parks – learn Leave No Trace ethics

Paul Garza, left, takes a break while climbing at  Reimers Ranch in July 2015.  (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)   Central Texas parks draw big crowds, and all those people make an impact on trails and vegetation.
Honest restaurant worker returns patron’s lost diamond
Honest restaurant worker returns patron’s lost diamond

An Alaskan woman is thanking a restaurant worker for returning her diamond ring. Rachel Saldana was visiting Carlos Mexican Resaturant in Anchorage and went to the bathroom to change her baby’s diaper.  A few minutes after returning to her table, she realized the diamond from her ring was missing. “My heart just sank,” Saldana...
Iconic Nokia 3310 unveiled ahead of retro phone relaunch
Iconic Nokia 3310 unveiled ahead of retro phone relaunch

The Nokia 3310 is making a comeback. The new mobile Finnish company HMD Global unveiled a smaller and sleeker version of the 17-year-old phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday. The phone, which doesn’t even have 3G, was famous for its long battery life and its durability. The new, updated version of the 2017 Nokia will...
‘Get Out’ tops box office with huge $30.5 million in ticket sales
‘Get Out’ tops box office with huge $30.5 million in ticket sales

Boosted by strong reviews and a genre-bending story, Jordan Peele’s socially conscious horror movie, “Get Out,” got a big, neighborly welcome at the box office over the weekend. The movie from the comedian-turned-director obliterated industry expectations with a studio-estimated $30.5 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada...
Five fashion trends from the 2017 Oscar red carpet
Five fashion trends from the 2017 Oscar red carpet

While the 89th Academy Awards ceremony celebrated cinematic achievements throughout 2016, for many the main attraction was the pre-show coverage, when we could get a good look at what the stars were wearing. Despite poncho-wearing ushers and umbrella-clad assistants prepared for a California rainfall, stars successfully stayed dry while showcasing...
More Stories