The goal of an “AIDS-free generation” has become a little more realistic, according to the 2012 World AIDS Day report released on November 20 by UNAIDS.
The report, titled “Results," found that between 2001 and 2011, HIV incidence in 25 countries declined by more than 50 percent and decreased by 20 percent worldwide. Since 2005, the number of AIDS-related deaths has declined by almost one-third.
Much of this improvement is concentrated in Africa, which is more severely affected by the epidemic than any other continent. Since 2001, the report found, new HIV infections have decreased by 73 percent in Malawi, 50 percent in Zimbabwe, and 41 percent in South Africa and Swaziland.
“The pace of progress is quickening,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, in a press release. “What used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months.”
The 2012 International AIDS Conference in July marked some of the first real conversations about beginning to end the epidemic, and Chris Collins, vice president and director of public policy at amfAR, pointed to the beginning of the end of AIDS as one of the conference’s biggest takeaways. Now the question is, he said, how to accomplish this goal and assess our progress in a concrete way.