According to UNAIDS, there were nearly 36.7 million people around the world who were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2015. Among them, 1.8 million were children and 2.1 million people contracted HIV in 2015 itself. The numbers are sadly shocking in India, Pakistan and China. A recent United Nation report confirmed that India, China and Pakistan are among 10 countries that accounted for more than 95% of total new HIV infection in Asia and Pacific region in 2016.
The report 90-90-90 targets which is part of Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, Ending AIDS sheds light on 2014 target to speed up the progress so that by 2020, 90% of total HIV-infected people know their status, 90% of total HIV-diagnosed people have access to antiretroviral therapy and 90% of those taking the therapy are virally suppressed.
The scales have inclined for the first time in the fight against AIDS as more than half of all people with HIV virus now have the access to ART. The AIDS-related deaths have reduced to half since 2005.
In Asia and Pacific region, the most of new infections are taking place in 10 countries among which, India, China, Indonesia, are leading the list. These 10 countries are, India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietmnam, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. These 10 countries itself accounted for more than 95% of the total new HIV infections in the region in 2016.
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The HIV epidemic of the Asia and Pacific region remains largely concentrated among key populations which include sex workers and their clients, gay men and men who have sex with one, ones who take drugs and transgender people. The total annual number of new HIV infections in Asia and Pacific region has fallen by 13% over the last six years, from 310,000 in 2010 to 270,000 in 2016.
The report also concluded that in India, a respondent-driven sampling survey across 26 cities found that knowledge of HIV status was 41% among people who are living with HIV and those who injected drugs. Out of those who knew their HIV status, only 52% were taking ART therapy and 83% of same are virally suppressed. Gay men and other men who have sex with men and are living with HIV infection were assessing the treatment and 78% of those were virally suppressed.
The report added that last year, 19.5 million of the 36.7 million people living with HIV globally had access to treatment and AIDS-related deaths have fallen from 1.9 million in 2005 to one million. With continued scale-up, this progress puts the world on track to reach the global target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020, according to the report.
"We met the 2015 target of 15 million people on treatment and we are on track to double that number to 30 million and meet the 2020 target," UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said.
"We will continue to scale up to reach everyone in need and honour our commitment of leaving no one behind," he added.
Eastern and southern Africa which accounts for more than half of all people suffering from HIV are leading the list. Since 2010, there has been a dip in AIDS-related deaths by 42% and new infection cases by 29%, including 56% decline in new infection in children over that period. It is a significant accomplishment in the fight against HIV.
On the contrary, the progress against the set targets is trailing in Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The AIDS-related deaths have rises drastically in these regions. Exceptions are only Algeria, Morocco and Belarus which has improved HIV treatment access from 2010 to 2016.
In contrast, progress against the targets has been poor in the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where AIDS-related deaths have pointedly risen. Exceptions, however, include Algeria, Morocco and Belarus, which have increased HIV treatment access from 2010 to 2016.
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