The routine use of anti-AIDS drugs is spreading MORE news from the battle against AIDS. A report published jointly by the World Health Organisation, the United Nations
Children’s Fund and UNAIDS says that over 4m infected people in poor and middle-income countries are now on drugs intended to keep the virus under control. That is 1m more than last year. More than 5m others who might benefit from those drugs are not on them, however, so there is no room for complacency. But the latest data suggest that with 42% of those who need the drugs actually receiving them, significant progress is being made.
Encouragingly, the proportion covered in sub-Saharan Africa, the worst-affected area and the one with the least developed health infrastructure, is slightly higher than the global average, at 44%. And women, long regarded by AIDS activists as the epidemic’s forgotten sex, are doing better than men. They comprise 55% of those in need, but form 60% of those receiving therapy.
The routine testing of pregnant women in the countries covered by the report is also expanding. In 2007, 15% were tested. In 2008 that figure was 21%, although, in line with rates for the rest of the population, only 45% of pregnant women who did turn out to be infected received drugs to control their infection. The fight, then, is by no means over. But the good guys seem to be winning.
Source of Information : The Economist 2009-10-03