WWR: Reflections on the UNAIDS Report

This week, we’re learning about the state of the battle to eliminate HIV/AIDS from the newly released UNAIDS report. From how PMTCT efforts are helping fewer babies be born with HIV to new information on where the epidemic is hitting hardest, below are some of the best articles from the past week:

New York Times – “New H.I.V. Cases Falling in Some Poor Nations, but Treatment Still Lags" Reporter Donald G. McNeil, Jr. proves an overview of the date presented in the latest UNAIDS report released in advance of World AIDS Day. Some of the highlights: PMTCT efforts are working worldwide, more members of high-risk groups are getting tested and treated for HIV, but only 1.4 million people are getting the medications they need to stay healthy.

BBC News – "Further big drop in new HIV infections among children"  According to the UNAIDS data, fewer children are acquiring HIV. Last year, 330,000 children were infected with HIV, a drop of 24% since 2009. But there is still much to do; in particular, countries and researchers are working on efforts to scale up treatment to reach the 15 million people living with HIV who need it.

AFP – "UN hails sharp decline in HIV infections in kids" The UNAIDS data shows a 20% drop in new HIV infections since 2001, and half of the reductions in new infections were among children. 43% fewer children were infected with HIV in 2011 than in 2003. But there are areas of concern: in the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe, infection rates are continuing to rise, and 72% of children eligible for HIV treatment are unable to access it.

Bloomberg News – "AIDS Recedes as Home-Grown Funding Exceeds International Aid" Countries bearing the brunt of the HIV epidemic are investing more in efforts to combat the disease, and for the first time, that spending outweighs foreign aid from countries that have cut back in response to the recession. Low-and middle-income countries are spending nearly $9 billion on AIDS, with a focus on preventing transmission of HIV from mother to child. However, the epidemic continuing to take a toll on high-risk populations, including drug users and sex workers.

EGPAF – "UNAIDS Report Shows Progress in Battle Against HIV/AIDS" Earlier this week, we blogged about some elements of the UNAIDS data most pertinent to pediatric HIV/AIDS. In six countries - Burundi, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Togo, and Zambia - the number of children infected with HIV has dropped by around 40%. In addition, 57% of women living in low-to-middle-income countries can access effective PMTCT options, but only 30% of eligible pregnant women living with HIV are receiving treatment.

Jane Coaston is Media Relations Coordinator for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.