Only one in five
people with HIV in poor and middle-income countries
receives the drugs that treat the virus, said a report by
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on
Thursday. That is despite a 200% rise in the number of
people receiving the drug treatment between 2003 and
2005, as individual countries worked to meet a target of
treating 3 million people with the drugs by 2005, the
government agency's report said.
increase in the number of people receiving the drugs means
that globally there will be a rise in people living with HIV
and thus a growing need to boost measures against HIV
transmission, said the report. In all, 4.1 million
people were newly infected with HIV and 38.6 million
were living with HIV and AIDS in 2005 in an epidemic focused
on sub-Saharan Africa.
10% of the world population lives in sub-Saharan
Africa, but the region is home to approximately 64% of the
world population living with HIV. More women are
HIV-infected than men," said the report.
countries including Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have seen a
decline in adult HIV prevalence, but in southern Africa, the
epicenter of the pandemic, only 17% of those infected
with the virus received the drug treatment.
The drugs save
lives by treating infections caused by retroviruses,
The report was
published ahead of the 16th International AIDS conference
in Toronto, Canada, which starts August 13.
There has been
major progress in the drive to prevent HIV-positive
mothers passing the virus on to their children, but only 8%
of the relevant women receive services such as health
education, the report said.
Researchers in a
separate study by the CDC and the Thailand health
ministry found an "alarming" 64% increase in sex between men
in Bangkok, Thailand, between 2003 and 2005 and "low
awareness" of HIV status among all men in the study."
underscores the need to reach [the group] with more
effective behavioral and biomedical interventions, more
frequent and increased access to HIV counseling and
testing, improved sexually transmitted disease
diagnosis and treatment, and community awareness and
support," said the report. (Reuters)