We’re closer than ever to ending HIV/AIDS this World AIDS Day

The global effort to end HIV/AIDS is paying off. For the first time, new data show significant declines in new HIV diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women.

“We are at an unprecedented moment in the global HIV/AIDS response,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator for the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the U.S. Department of State.

Our latest results clearly show the remarkable impact of PEPFAR’s accelerated HIV prevention and treatment efforts,” Birx said November 30, the day before World AIDS Day 2017.

PEPFAR was created in 2003 originally to deliver lifesaving services in countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. Today, PEPFAR is controlling the pandemic through programs in 60 countries.

The latest results provide proof of historic high levels of HIV prevention and treatment:

Statistics on HIV testing, HIV-free babies, antiretroviral treatment, health-care training and circumcisions (Maruszewski/ State Dept.)
(Maruszewski/ State Dept.)

The latest findings are on top of impressive PEPFAR results released earlier: New childhood infections of HIV have dropped nearly 70 percent since 2000 and, for the first time, rates for adults are declining by more than half in some key African countries.

But challenges remain, such as reaching high-risk populations, which account for 45 percent of new infections. These include people who inject drugs, prisoners, sex workers and men who have sex with men. PEPFAR continues to support these at-risk groups through its Key Populations Challenge Fund.

Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS. It accounted for 1 in 3 AIDS-related deaths in 2015. PEPFAR programs continue to combat this problem by screening people living with HIV for tuberculosis.

Birx said that PEPFAR’s “data-driven and cost-effective investments are driving progress toward controlling and ultimately ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

Join in the effort December 1 on World AIDS Day by showing your support for those who are living with HIV and their caregivers and by remembering those who have died from AIDS.