Access to HIV Treatment Worldwide Improves

GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 29 (UPI) — In 2009, 5.25 million people, 36 percent of those in need, had access to HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization says.

A report by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS assessed HIV/AIDS progress in 144 low- and middle-income countries. The report said the finding represents an increase of more than 1.2 million people accessing services from December 2008 to December 2009.

The report says:

– 15 countries, including Botswana, Guyana and South Africa, were able to provide treatment for more than 80 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women in need to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.

– 14 countries, including Brazil, Namibia and Ukraine, provided HIV treatment to more than 80 percent of the HIV-positive children in need.

– Eight countries, including Cambodia, Cuba and Rwanda, achieved universal access to anti-retroviral treatment for adults.

“Countries in all parts of the world are demonstrating that HIV/AIDS universal access is achievable,” Dr. Hiroki Nakatani, WHO assistant director-general for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, says in a statement. “But globally, it remains an unfulfilled commitment. And we must join forces to make it a worldwide reality in the coming years.”

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