Half of HIV-infected get treatment now:

Half of HIV-infected get treatment now:

Access to HIV treatment on the block

Context

  • The latest UNAIDS report, released on Thursday, reveals that more than half of all People Living with HIV (PLHIV) now have access to HIV treatment.

Sign of relief for patients

  • The 2015 target of 15 million people on treatment have been met.
  • The next thing on table is to double that number to 30 million and meet the 2020 target.
  • As of last year, 19.5 million of the 36.7 million HIV+ patients had access to treatment.
  • Deaths caused by AIDS have fallen from 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016.

Bad news

  • The bad news is that the majority of the cases nearly 95 per cent of the cases in 2016 were concentrated in just 10 countries, India being one of them.
  • India has 2.1 million people living with HIV, with 80,000 new infections annually, as of 2016. In 2005, the annual incidence was 1,50,000 people.
  • India is the country where newest HIV infections are occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • While the world seems to be on track to reach the global target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020, access to medicines remains a major barrier and India plays a special role.

The Score Card

  • Actions focused on the junctures between intellectual property rights, innovation, and public health are important for resolving market failures in medicine development and manufacture, unmet needs for research and development, and pricing.
  • The report, Ending AIDS: Progress towards the 90–90–90 target, is the annual scorecard for progress.
  • The idea behind the 90-90-90 target is to diagnose 90% of people who are HIV positive; get 90% of the diagnosed HIV+ people on antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of those on antiretroviral should be virally suppressed.
  • This is attained when an HIV+ patient’s viral load reaches an undetectable level, curbing transmission.
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