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Pace of Progress in Global AIDS Response Accelerating

Drop in transmission, new infections, especially in children, suggest 2015 global AIDS targets viable

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a recent acceleration in the AIDS response, which suggests that global AIDS 2015 targets may be feasible, according to a report published Nov. 20 by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The report describes efforts to achieve ambitious global AIDS targets set for 2015. The 10 goals include reduction of sexual transmission and transmission among injection-drug users by 50 percent; elimination of new infections among children; reduction in the tuberculosis mortality rate; and closing the global AIDS resource gap.

According to the research, across 25 low- and middle-income countries, the rate of new HIV infections has declined by more than 50 percent, with more dramatic decreases in some countries. Worldwide, the number of people acquiring new HIV infection was 20 percent lower in 2011 versus 2001, although regional variation was observed, including increases in some countries. In the last two years, half the global reductions in new HIV infections were in children. There has been a reduction in the number of people dying from AIDS-related causes, down 24 percent from 2005 to 2011, with tuberculosis-related AIDS mortality down by 13 percent in the last two years. Despite a difficult economic climate, countries are increasing investment in AIDS response.

"The pace of progress is quickening -- what used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months," Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAIDS, said in a statement. "We are scaling up faster and smarter than ever before. It is the proof that with political will and follow through we can reach our shared goals by 2015."

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