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HIV infections, mortalities drop steadily in past decade | Updated: 2012-07-19 08:39

Globally, the number of people newly infected with HIV as well as HIV/AIDS related deaths has been declining steadily over the past decade, according to statistics made public by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Wednesday.

The number of new HIV infections worldwide has dropped from 3.2 million in 2001 to 2.5 million in 2011, representing a reduction of 20 percent.

New HIV infections decreased among both adults and children. Some 2.2 million adults were newly-infected in 2011, comparing with 2.7 million a decade ago. In the same period, new infections among children dropped from 560,000 to 330,000 cases.

Meanwhile, AIDS-related deaths saw a moderate decrease from 1.9 million to 1.7 million.

Increased access to antiretroviral therapy, in particular in middle and low-income countries, was said to be the primary reason for reduced infections and subsequently decreased AIDS-related motilities.

UNAIDS said more than 8 million people living with HIV in middle and low-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2011, up from 6.6 million people in 2010 and just 400,000 in 2003.

This represents 54 percent of the estimated 14.8 million people eligible for treatment.

The expanded treatment coverage corresponds to an increase in funding.

While international funding for control and treatment of the epidemic remained flat at the 2008 level of 8.2 billion U.S. dollars, investment from middle and low-income countries rose significantly.

Last year, middle and low-income countries invested 8.6 billion U.S. dollars on such projects, representing an increase of 11 percent compared to 2010.

Domestic public spending in sub-Saharan African countries (not including South Africa), a heavily burdened area by the epidemic, almost doubled over the last five years.

BRICS countries increased domestic public spending on HIV by more than 120 percent between 2006 and 2011.

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