Policy ForumAids

Turning the Tide Against HIV

Science  01 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6038, pp. 42-43
DOI: 10.1126/science.1206399

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Although the annual number of new HIV infections (incidence) declined from a peak of 3.5 million in 1996 to 2.6 million in 2009, the total number living with HIV continues to rise as more people live longer. While 6.6 million people with HIV are now on antiretroviral treatment (ART), 9 million are waiting to receive it, with two people newly infected for every person starting ART (1). Twenty million more people are predicted to acquire HIV by 2031, which will increase treatment costs up to $35 billion a year (2). This raises issues of sustainability. Thus, reducing HIV incidence is critical to keeping alive the promise of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support.