15.8 million people worldwide now receive antiretroviral treatment

25 November 2015
HIV treatment for children
Incredible progress has been made in scaling up HIV treatment globally - 15.8 million people are now accessing antiretroviral treatment. This has increased dramatically from just 2.2 million in 2005 and 7.5 million in 2010. “Every five years we have more than doubled the number of people on life-saving treatment,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, in their World AIDS Day 2015 report. “We need to do it just one more time to break the AIDS epidemic and keep it from rebounding.”
Through the use of detailed national and subnational data sets countries are now able to map areas where most new HIV infections occur, and redistribute resources accordingly. Countries are then able to fine-tune the delivery of HIV prevention and treatment services to where they are needed most. Using this data, combined with local knowledge, programmes will be able to reach people currently being left behind in the AIDS response. 
The new UNAIDS report, On the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030: Focus on location and population, highlights the innovative approaches used by more than 50 communities, cities and countries in their responses to the epidemic.
Given the success of many of these initiatives, the report argues for a ‘location-population approach’ in the global response to HIV and AIDS. This means there has to be a focus on people accessing the right services delivered in the right place.
The report also emphasises the importance of tackling HIV stigma and discrimination in the AIDS response. Mr Sidibé said that services must be “delivered in a safe, respectful environment with dignity and free from discrimination.” 
Countries are getting on the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030 as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and this new report highlights the many advantages that better data and a fresh, targeted approach will have in achieving the goal to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Photo credit:
©iStock.com/Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply any health status or behaviour on the part of the people in the photo.