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The virus and disease are often referred to together as HIV/AIDS. The disease is a major health problem in many parts of the world, and is considered a pandemic, a disease outbreak that is not only present over a large area but is actively spreading. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there are 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.7 million new HIV infections per year and 2.0 million annual deaths due to AIDS. In 2007, UNAIDS estimated: 33.2 million people worldwide had AIDS that year; AIDS killed 2.1 million people in the course of that year, including 330,000 children, and 76% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS 2009 report, worldwide some 60 million people have been infected since the start of the pandemic, with some 25 million deaths, and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone.
I want to recognize World AIDS Day 2011 here on ATS.
There is real hope of ending AIDS within a generation or two with the proper strategies implemented and the proper funding provided. It's interesting that even the AIDS pandemic can be affected by the down-turned world economy. The unfortunate reality is that money can directly affect human lives worldwide.
Check out the info and links below.
NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AVAC today issued a three-part, science-based agenda for ending the AIDS epidemic within our lifetimes. The new report, titled The End?, is a unique strategic vision encompassing key steps to accelerate impact with existing HIV prevention tools, emerging strategies and longer term research. It identifies critical priorities in each of these areas and advances specific recommendations for both 2012 and for the next decade.
"The past year has seen building excitement about the possibility of ending AIDS in our lifetime. It is an ambitious goal, but a realistic one, provided we have a clear path forward and the will to do what's needed," said Mitchell Warren, AVAC executive director. "The science-based agenda in this year's AVAC Report fills a gap at a critical moment: it describes the full spectrum of actions needed to realize the potential of existing, emerging and long-term biomedical HIV prevention options and change the AIDS response forever."
Game-changing research advances fuel optimism.
Recent studies have demonstrated that antiretroviral (ARV) medications and other tools can prevent HIV transmission, creating new opportunities to accelerate the global decline in new HIV infections:
•In 2006, trials showed that voluntary medical male circumcision can reduce a man's risk of infection from a female partner by about 60 percent.
•In 2011, a large U.S.-funded trial released data showing that starting effective HIV treatment earlier reduced individuals' risk of transmitting HIV by 96 percent.
•In 2009 and 2010, trials of oral and topical pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using ARV medications in specific populations of HIV-negative people provided proof of concept that PrEP is an effective prevention tool.
•In 2011, scientists identified vaccine-induced immune correlates of risk that help explain the positive finding from the RV144 AIDS vaccine trial—the first to demonstrate that a vaccine can have an impact on HIV transmission—and point the way to discovery of an effective AIDS vaccine.
These are positive developments.
The report urges that resources for HIV prevention be allocated for greatest possible impact. Where necessary, funding that supports low-impact activities should be reprogrammed, based on evidence, to further reduce infections and save more lives. Moreover, AVAC argues that to end the AIDS epidemic, the field needs to define, evaluate and implement combination prevention in every community affected by HIV.
"If we're serious about ending the epidemic, then we all need to make certain that precious resources are put where they're needed most," said Warren. "And we need to ensure that adequate resources are available. We cannot meet these ambitious goals if the Global Fund, PEPFAR and other essential programs are not adequately funded."
The full AVAC Report 2011: The End?, along with AVAC's Playbook 2012, podcasts, graphics and other materials about ending the epidemic, are available at www.avac.org/report2011.
About AVAC: Founded in 1995, AVAC is a non-profit organization that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy and a network of global collaborations to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery of AIDS vaccines, male circumcision, microbicides, PrEP and other emerging HIV prevention options as part of a comprehensive response to the pandemic. More information at www.avac.org.
Learn how prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS here: