Aids-related deaths fall by 1.7 million
Fewer people infected with HIV globally are dying as more of them get access to antiretroviral drugs, particularly in Africa, the United Nations Aids programme said this week.
The United Nations estimates that about 34million people are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes Aids.
In a report released ahead of the International Aids Society's 2012 annual meeting set for next week in Washington, DC, it said that the number of worldwide Aids-related deaths fell to 1.7million last year from some 1.8million in 2010. Aids deaths peaked at 2.3million in 2005.
The decline has been fuelled by greater access to medications that help more people live with the disease. An estimated 8million people in lower-income countries are receiving antiretroviral drugs, and the United Nations has set a target to raise that to 15million by 2015.
Funding for HIV prevention and treatment totalled $16.8-billion (about R136-billion) last year. Of that amount, $8.2-billion (about R66-billion) came from international sources including the US, which donated 48% of it.