United Nations Chief Says World can end AIDS Epidemic by 2030
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, announced that the world is on track to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. He added this goal is both ambitious and realistic.
"The world has delivered on halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic," Ban said. "Now we must commit to ending the AIDS epidemic."
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the number of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths has fallen by 35 percent and 41 percent, respectively since 2000. The officials also announced that the world has managed to get life-saving HIV treatment to 15 million HIV-positive people nine months ahead of schedule.
"In 2000, AIDS was a death sentence. People who became infected with HIV had just a few years to live and the vast majority of children born with the virus died before they reached their fifth birthday," UNAIDS reported. "Against incredible odds, the pace of antiretroviral therapy scaled-up increased, ensuring more people remained alive and well."
Funding for HIV/AIDS has increased drastically. In 2001, less than $5 million was invested in this cause. By 2015, funding skyrocketed to almost $22 billion. This large amount of money has undeniably helped prevent new cases of HIV/AIDS.
The number of new HIV infections in children has declined. As of 2014, 85 countries reported having fever than 50 new HIV infections in children. Last month, Cuba became the very first nation to stop HIV infections that occur via mother-to-child.
An estimated 36.9 million people are HIV-positive throughout the world. Roughly 15 million of them, as of March 2015, were on antiretroviral therapy. There is currently no cure for the virus. However, treatment is very effective in preventing HIV from becoming AIDS.