"[Regarding] the quickening in the pace of progress, we have achieved in the past two years what took us before a whole decade," said Schwartlander. He attributed the progress to more domestic and international resources being committed to fighting HIV/AIDS.
The second factor is dramatically simplified treatment approaches, with many people on a once-a-day pill regimen that is relatively low-cost, he said.
Still, there needs to be more focus on the most at-risk populations, Schwartlander said. These include injecting drug-users, gay and bisexual men, and sex workers. In the United States, for instance, there has been a spike in the number of new infections among gay African American and Hispanic men, a highly vulnerable population, Schwartlander noted.
And the report notes that the fight is far from over: Today, there remain 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe, as well as 2.5 million new infections and 1.7 million deaths annually.
Find out more about HIV/AIDS at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Nov. 20, 2012, news conference with Bernhard Schwartlander, M.D., Ph.D., director for evidence, strategy and results, UNAIDS; UNAIDS, news release, Nov. 20, 2012
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