HIV infection rates globally have failed to significantly decline in 10 years, with more than 70 countries actually increasing, research by Australian and New Zealand scientists has found.
The research, published in The Lancet HIV journal, found deaths from HIV/AIDS have been steadily declining from a peak in 2005, but 2.5 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2015, a number that hasn’t changed substantially in the past 10 years.
They also found the decline of new infections is starting to slow.
“Although scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and measures to prevent mother-to-child transmission have had a huge impact on saving lives, our new findings present a worrying picture of slow progress in reducing new HIV infections over the past 10 years”, says lead author Dr Haidong Wang from the University of Washington.
“Development assistance for HIV/AIDS is stagnating and health resources in many low-income countries are expected to plateau over the next 15 years.”
Professor Christopher Murray says there needs to be a “massive scale-up of efforts from governments and international agencies” in order “to meet the estimated $36 billion needed every year to realise the goal of ending AIDS by 2030”.