New U.N. AIDS Figures Prove Need for Concentrated Effort
BY HIV Plus Editors
November 22 2011 5:49 PM ET
New diagnoses of HIV around the world has held at a stead 2.7 million people annually for the last five years, according to a new report by U.N. AIDS released Monday.
Additionally, the number of people dying from the virus has declined for the third consecutive year by 21%.
While only half of those who have been diagnosed are receiving necessary treatment, the figures are still an improvement over 2009, when 100 people were treated per every 250 people who were newly diagnosed.
“Even in a very difficult financial crisis, countries are delivering results in the AIDS response,” Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a statement. “We have seen a massive scale up in access to HIV treatment, which has had a dramatic effect on the lives of people everywhere.”
Still, the U.N. criticized some governments for not focusing their attention in the right places. Russia spent $181 million on general HIV prevention in 2008 while only $8 million was directed toward men who have sex with men, sex workers, and IV drug users. Conversely, behavioral changes have contributed to the decline of HIV infections in African countries due to the proliferation of condoms, and reducing the number of sexual partners.
According to the New York Times, both Brazil and Russia have similar economies, and spend about $700 million on HIV, but that's where the similarities end. While countries like Brazil and Cambodia concentrates on high-risk populations, and addresses sex workers in their efforts to eradicate the virus, Russia and Vietnam experience high numbers because of their more conservative views on sex work, homosexuality, and drug use.