U.N. members make large gains in combating malaria, HIV, TB

A new analysis published in The Lancet showed significant progress has been made over the past 14 years to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in United Nations member countries.

In 2000, world governments and U.N. member states adopted a set of eight Millenium Development Goals, which seek to reduce poverty, encourage universal primary education and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015, Science Daily reports.

The new analysis showed that worldwide, the number of people living with HIV has risen to reach approximately 29 million people in 2012. Though 74 developing countries have continued to see HIV infection rates increase, the number of cases in children has fallen by 62 percent.

In terms of tuberculosis (TB), the report showed the number of infections has decreased since 2000, though the number of people diagnosed with TB increased from 8.5 million in 1990 to reach approximately 12 million last year. Most new cases occur in men and boys, who account for 64 percent of all new cases.

Countries have also made significant progress in combating malaria. Since 2004, the number of new cases and deaths have declined significantly as funding increased between 2000 and 2011. Four countries, however, including Nigeria, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and India, still report more than five million cases a year, according to Science Daily.

"We have seen a huge increase in both funding and the policy attention given to HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB over the past 13 years, and our findings show that a focus on these specific diseases has had a real impact," Christopher Murray, a professor of global health at the University of Washington and the lead author of the analysis, said, Science Daily reports. "However, much remains to be done and all three diseases continue to be major health challenges in 2013."