World AIDS Day Report Finds Fragile Progress

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(NEW YORK) — For the first time in more than 30 years, more people are receiving lifesaving treatment for AIDS than the number of people who become newly infected with HIV, says the new ONE AIDS report released in honor of World AIDS Day on Monday.

“Despite the good news, we should not take a victory lap yet,” said Erin Hohlfelder, ONE’s Director of Global Health Policy and author of the report. “We’ve passed the tipping point in the AIDS fight at the global level, but not all countries are there yet, and the gains made can easily stall or unravel.”

The One Campaign, which was founded by U2 frontman Bono, noted the fight against AIDS is still hampered by lack of funding.

Annually there is a $3 billion shortfall in the amount needed to control the disease around the world, the report found.

The report also warned that the progress to date could easily unravel in places like Africa, where many countries have fragile and overstretched healthcare systems. And another worry the report found: New AIDS patients are increasingly from marginalized communities such as drug users and sex workers.

The report said the progress can continue if funding comes from new sources, countries build more resilient healthcare systems and the medical community does a better job addressing the crisis.

“We are calling on those involved in the AIDS fight to target HIV where it is, not where it is easiest to reach,” Hohlfelder said.

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