According to a report presented by the United Nations (UN), people taking life-saving retroviral medication for have increased by tens of millions all over the world.
As per the data of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, the number of people accessing the medicine rose from 685,000 people in 2000 to 20.9 million people in 2017.
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, said that in South Africa in 2000 only 90 people were on treatment for HIV. But currently, South Africa is running the largest life-saving HIV treatment program, which involves 4 million people. He also added that this kind of speedy process is essential to encourage the medication and treatment that must be continued for a longer period.
The report also mentioned that because of the effective treatment, the death rate of the people having HIV has remarkably reduced. It is also concluded that if people stick to their treatment regimen, then their chances of transmission of the AIDS-causing virus decrease by 97%.
Since the program availability is high and it is also accessible to pregnant women, the chances of new born babies with HIV also showed a significant drop.
Still, challenges are there as it’s not easy to provide medicine to 17 million people with HIV, who are still unable to access the treatment. This population include 919,000 children with AIDS.
There is one more challenge, i.e., to make the HIV treatment program a public priority, especially in the regions, where the HIV infections are increasing at a higher rate. According to a recent study, the rate of new infections rose by 60% since 2010 and deaths related to HIV have also increased by 27%.