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HIV infections, AIDS deaths fall: U.N.

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Published : 2012-11-22 20:01
Updated : 2012-11-22 20:01

An end to the AIDS epidemic is now “feasible,” thanks to easier access to drugs that prevent and treat the human immunodeficiency virus that causes the deadly disease, the United Nations’ AIDS program said in its annual report.

The number of people dying from AIDS sharply declined from a peak of 2.3 million in 2005 to 1.7 million last year. The number of new HIV infections last year was also 20 percent lower than in 2001.

Africa, in particular, has seen tremendous progress in curing the disease, due to better drug distribution and treatment.

The number of people newly infected with HIV in 25 African countries has at least halved in the past decade. HIV infections in Malawi, for instance, dropped by 73 percent, while Botswana had seen a 68 percent decrease, the report said.

The disease, however, remains as “one of the world’s most serious health challenges,” the report says, pointing out that about 34 million people around the world were still living with HIV at the end of 2011.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)

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