Huge news. For the first time in the history of AIDS, we have reached a tipping point in the fight against the disease.
According to new data from UNAIDS, in 2013, 2.3 million people were added to HIV/AIDS treatment, surpassing the number of new HIV infections in that year. If we keep increasing the number of people on treatment and decreasing the number of new infections, we can end the disease in just 15 years.
UNAIDS’ report shows more progress:
- There are now 12.9 million people on antiretroviral treatment—2.3 million more people added in the last year alone, and a remarkable leap from just 300,000 in 2002. More than 9 million of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- There were 2.1 million new HIV infections in 2013, down from 2.3 million the year before. Roughly 240,000 of these new infections were among infants and children, also down from 260,000 the year before.
- AIDS-related deaths are also declining, with 1.5 million deaths in 2013.
Over the last three years, we have been tracking progress towards the beginning of the end of AIDS — the point at which the number of people newly added to treatment in a year is more than the number of people newly infected with HIV in the same year. UNAIDS’ data showed that we achieved this in 2013, perhaps much earlier than expected.
You can listen to me talking about the new report in an interview with UN Dispatch:
Although we have always been careful to note that achieving the tipping point does not mean that the fight against AIDS is over, or even close to over, it is a major victory worth celebrating. For the first time in the history of the disease, we are finally getting ahead of the curve.