AIDS: number of new infections drops significantly

Increased therapy programs are also effective in the poor countries

AIDS virus CDC
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Just in time for World AIDS Day on 1 December, there are the latest figures on the HIV epidemic and its fight. According to UNAIDS, the rate of new infections in the most affected countries has fallen by more than half. Also, the number of deaths has been reduced. One reason for this is the increased therapeutic programs, the UN organization explains in its report. In Germany, the number of new infections is stagnating, and HIV-infected people live longer thanks to better and better treatment options than they did just a few years ago.

The majority of people infected with HIV still live in industrialized countries, not in the poorest and poorest countries, especially in southern Africa. UNAIDS estimates that around 34 million people worldwide carry the AIDS virus, but only half of them know their HIV status. Nevertheless, the current report gives cause for hope. "Progress is accelerating, " says Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS.

Rate of new infections decreases especially in the children

According to the latest figures, 2.5 million new people became infected with HIV in 2011 - 700, 000 fewer than ten years earlier. In particular, in 25 poor countries particularly affected, there has been a reduction of more than 50 percent in the rate of new infections. In some African states, including Botswana, Namibia and Malawi, even around 70 percent fewer people were infected with the virus than they were in 2001. The most significant progress has been made in children's new infections, the report says. "Significantly fewer babies are born with HIV - we move here from despair to hope, " says Sidibé. Meanwhile, it seems possible in the future to avoid new infections in children completely.

More therapy programs even in poor countries

There are also positive developments in AIDS deaths, according to UNAIDS. Thus, the number of Aidstoten in the last five years has fallen by half a million. The biggest contributors to this were Africa's most heavily affected countries, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia. One reason for this progress is the increased use of antiretroviral therapies in these countries. For a long time standard, drugs for HIV were previously unavailable or unaffordable for many people in poorer countries. This situation seems to have improved slightly in the meantime.

As UNAIDS reports, the number of people receiving such funds has increased globally by 63 percent in the last two years. In sub-Saharan Africa, 2.3 million people had access to HIV therapies for the first time. South Africa alone has increased its governmental treatment programs by 75 percent during this time, enabling 1.3 million people to receive treatment. However, as UNAIDS emphasizes, this is no reason to be the all-clear: seven million people around the world who urgently need therapy are still unavailable. display

Germany: gays still the most vulnerable population group

Complementing the global figures of UNAIDS, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has also published the latest statistics on the situation in Germany. Accordingly, live here in total

about 78, 000 HIV-infected people. The number of new HIV infections in Germany has reached a plateau after a rise at the beginning of the last decade from 2004/2005 and has since fluctuated slightly. For 2012, the researchers expect about 3, 400 new infections, the number stagnates. While HIV is spread mainly through heterosexual contacts in the sub-Saharan region and other developing countries, gays are still the most vulnerable in Germany lkerungsgruppe, among them there are about 51, 000 infected. Especially other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, have contributed, according to the RKI, that the number of new infections among gays in 2011 has increased slightly.

Although the number of people living with HIV in Germany has increased since the mid-1990s and a further increase is to be expected, experts rate the development of the number of cases as positive. Reason for the increase is not an ever higher rate of new infections, but rather the availability of effective therapies guarantees a longer life expectancy of those affected. Since the number of deaths is j Has dropped significantly, climb the balance. The Robert Koch Institute estimates that around 50, 000 people in Germany now receive HIV therapy, and of the other approximately 28, 000 people infected, about 14, 000 sufferers still do not know about their infection.

(UNAIDS / RKI, 30.11.2012 - NPO)