World achieves MDG target by providing 15 million people with HIV treatment

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The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of providing 15 million people with life-saving HIV treatment has been achieved, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The announcement came in a report launched by UNAIDS on the sidelines of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The agency said this means that the world has reached the goal of halting and reversing the spread of HIV ahead of the MDG deadline later this year.

Dianne Penn reports.

For UNAIDS, the 15 million people getting anti-retroviral treatment represent 15 million success stories.

New HIV infections have fallen by 35 per cent and AIDS-related deaths by 41 per cent since world leaders adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 15 years ago.

Thirty million new HIV infections also were averted during that time.

However, UNAIDS said more needs to be done to make treatment available and affordable to the 22 million people who need it.

Mbulawa Mugabe heads UNAIDS’s department for Country Impact and Sustainability.

"The report also points out the fact that throughout the world, there is no part of the world that actually AIDS is over. The report highlights a number of challenges and one of those is that there is a need for us to address the vulnerability of women, particularly women in sub-Saharan Africa where on average women acquire HIV 15 to 7 years earlier than their male counterparts."

UNAIDS said concerted global action over the next five years could lead to the end of the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  1’19″

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