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19 November 2017 12:13 (South Africa)

Good news/bad news: 4m on AIDS drugs worldwide; 5m still need them


Four million people now get vital AIDS drugs worldwide (a tenfold increase in only five years) – but five million others still need to receive them, according to the UN’s annual AIDS report. One key area of increase has been in Africa where 3 million are now on the medicines, although the data remains incomplete here. Of the UN’s 192 member countries, 158 provided government-approved data, although most of it has not been independently verified. The epidemic is concentrated on the continent. "This is a dramatic improvement," said Harvard AIDS expert Daniel Halperin. "It shows that all this money that has gone to treatment has made some difference", he added. Some 44% of people with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa who need AIDS drugs now have them (in the US, some 71% get the drugs, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The world spends some $9 billion on AIDS, with about 23% of public health funds going to the disease. It causes 4% of yearly deaths globally.

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