September 30, 2009
UNAIDS: HIV Testing More Than Doubles Worldwide in 2008
HIV testing more than doubled in dozens of countries last year, leading to an upswing in HIV reporting and an increase in people getting treated, according to UNAIDS as reported by The New York Times.
The agency’s 2009 progress report showed that the number of people on antiretroviral medication increased by more than a million people in 2008, raising the total number of people on treatment to more than 4 million. The number of HIV-positive children receiving medication increased from 198,000 to 275,7000 during that same period. More than half of HIV-positive mothers in Africa who need medication to prevent transmission of the virus to their infant received it.
“In the space of one year, you’re seeing a huge ramping up of AIDS services,” said Mark Stirling, regional director for UNAIDS in eastern and southern Africa. “It’s unprecedented. In the acceleration and intensification of reach, 2008 was an extraordinary year.”
However, the report also showed that while more than 1 million positive people were put on treatment in the past year, 2.7 million were newly infected in 2007, the last year data were available.
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