AIDS could be beaten by 2030, says world health agency

(AGI) London, Dec 1 - AIDS could be stamped out within 15years, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) on world AIDSday on Monday. However, this would require 90 percent ofHIV-positive patients to be diagnosed, 90 percent to undergotreatment and the virus to be suppressed in 90 percent ofpatients, said the agency. The fight against AIDS had peakedglobally, but not all countries were working at the same speedand progress could still halt or even go into reverse, saidPolicy Director of Global Health at NGO ONE, Erin Holhfelder.The greatest obstacle to eliminating the

(AGI) London, Dec 1 - AIDS could be stamped out within 15years, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) on world AIDSday on Monday. However, this would require 90 percent ofHIV-positive patients to be diagnosed, 90 percent to undergotreatment and the virus to be suppressed in 90 percent ofpatients, said the agency. The fight against AIDS had peakedglobally, but not all countries were working at the same speedand progress could still halt or even go into reverse, saidPolicy Director of Global Health at NGO ONE, Erin Holhfelder.The greatest obstacle to eliminating the virus and ensuringthere were no more deaths by 2030 was diagnosis. Almost halfthose living with HIV were not aware they had it it, saidGottfried Hirnschall, director of the WHO HIV department. Testsneeded to be carried out on as broad a band of the populationas possible, especially in at-risk areas, where there were highlevels of prostitution, drug dependence and large homosexualcommunities. In 2013 a million and a half people died of AIDSand two million new cases were reported, 70 percent indeveloping countries. Italy was the hardest-hit western countryin 2012, with 1,700 deaths and more than 4,000 new cases,bringing the number of those HIV-positive to more than 140,000,excluding 15-20 percent of people unaware of their condition.One in three Italians aged 16 to 34 did not believe AIDS to bea threat and did not take precautions, said a DOXA surveypresented by the Italian independent global solidarityassociation CESVI. Almost 13 million people are undergoinganti-retroviral treatment, almost one third of the 35 millionof those in need of treatment. Children in average andlow-income countries are in a particularly dangerous situation,with only 25 percent getting treatment. The main problem in thefight against AIDS is lack of funds. European NGOs havelaunched a campaign for part of the revenue from a financialtransaction tax to be used to fund some of the two and a halfbillion dollars needed to keep afloat the Global Fund to FightAIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Rwanda could serve as anexample of how to fight AIDS, with more than 80 percent ofpatients getting treatment. (AGI) . .