SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

More than 7 million Africans now receiving HIV treatment

The Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS announced on Tuesday that the number of people in Africa receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV has increased from less than 1 million in 2005 to more than 7 million in 2012.

The UNAIDS report showed that AIDS related deaths fell by 32 percent between the years of 2005 and 2012. More than 1 million HIV treatments were added in 2012 alone.

"Africa has been relentless in its quest to turn the AIDS epidemic around," Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé said. "As we celebrate 50 years of African unity, let us also celebrate the achievements Africa has made in responding to HIV-and recommit to pushing forward so that future generations can grow up free from AIDS."

Sidibé also said that while Africa still faces problems, there have been important lessons learned from the implementation and successes seen over the past seven years. Successful strategies include leveraging the strength of culture and communities, focusing on the people, building strong global health institutions, elevating health as a force for social transformation and mobilizing financial commitments.

"These strategies have been fundamental to Africa's success at halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic and will support the next 50 years of better health, across borders and across diseases," Sidibé said.