What we have won:
Annual AIDS deaths have declined from a peak of 1.8 million in 2005 to 1.2 million in 2015. There is no AIDS cure or vaccine. antiretrovirals (ART) cocktails suppress the virus, enabling people to live long lives, though the drugs are expensive and can have side effects.
Use of antiretrovirals, for long the preserve of the rich, grew from 6.4 per cent of infected men in 2005 to 38.6 per cent ten years later, and from 3.3 per cent to 42.4 per cent for women over the same period, the study found.
Another factor that has helped cut the death rate was education and medicines to prevent infected women passing the virus onto their unborn children.
What we are still figuring out:
“New infections of HIV in the world is probably the most disturbing factor that has been announced here at the conference,” he added.
The situation could be worsened by funding shortages for HIV/AIDS programmes and medicines.
“In 2015, (funding) fell below the level spent in 2014, and in many low-income countries, resources for health are scarce and expected to grow slowly, if at all,” said Wang at a press conference in Durban. “We must slow rates of new infection.”
“Global efforts have had less impact on the incidence of new infections than on HIV mortality,” concluded the report. “Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 will require a dramatic change in how HIV prevention is pursued.”