1 Jul 2012

Hope


The Wounded Angel - Hugo Simberg
The statistics on HIV are a gloomy read. At the end of year 2010, 30.6 million adults and 3.4 million children, worldwide, were living with the virus, according to estimates released in 2011 by UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF. HIV and AIDS affect mid-income and low-income countries the worst. Sub-Saharan Africa has 68,2% of the cases, while South and South-East Asia are at 11.9%.

But even the countries in financial crisis are doing better with prevention and treatment these days. New HIV infections and deaths from AIDS related illnesses have decreased considerably. It has been estimated that, as antiretroviral regimens are now more available to mothers, 400 000 new HIV infections in children have been averted since 1995.

Medication is the key in managing HIV, which is still incurable. Patients need a combination of drugs, and in the past the amount of pills to take daily might have been as high as 40 pills three times a day. These days several drugs are combined in one pill  to ensure that the whole daily intake is quaranteed, as it is often crucial to stop the virus from taking over. A new study has shown that something called "the quad pill" has been found successful in stopping the virus from replicating, which is thanks to the inclusion of an anti-HIV drug known as an integrase inhibitor.

New kind of focus and thinking is still needed in battling HIV and AIDS and taking care of people affected. UNAIDS plans to direct more of it's efforts with communities in mind, rather than the virus itself. If their planned framework of investments is put to use, at least 12.2 million new HIV infections and 7.4 million AIDS-related deaths would be averted between 2011 and 2020. This requires shared responsibility. The difficult economic climate has reduced donations to UNAIDS 10% since 2009. This is a trend that needs to change. A lot depends on how the rich countries rise to the occasion.

Resources:

AVERT: Statistic around the world
BBCNews: HIV quad pill 'may improve care'
BBCNews: Anti-retroviral drugs 'help reduce' HIV transmission
UNAIDS: Nearly 50% of people who are eligible for antiretroviral therapy now have access to lifesaving treatment

Written by Peippo.
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