UN: HIV Rates On Decline

Sophia Jones on a new UN report showing falling HIV infection rates

In the course of the past dozen years, the rate of HIV infections has fallen dramatically, according to a new report from the United Nations out today. Since 2001, the number of cases has gone down by 33 percent overall— and 52 percent among children, according to the UNAIDS report released today.

While the number of people living with HIV continues to increase, reaching more than 35 million people last year, the number of new cases has actually fallen, according to the report which also detailed how sub-Saharan Africa remains the most hard-hit by HIV/AIDS, especially when it comes to children and the disease. Last year, about 230,000 children died from AIDS-related issues in sub-Saharan Africa compared to fewer than 200 children in North America.

The executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, vowed to provide HIV treatment to 15 million people by 2015, insisting that nobody would be “left behind.”

“Not only is focusing on the most disadvantaged women and families the right thing to do, it’s the most efficient,” Dr. Kumanan Rasanathan, a health specialist at UNICEF, told reporters at the United Nations on Monday. “This week can make a difference. We are at such a pivotal point.”