AHF Hails WHO Report on 4M in Treatment; Notes Millions Still Need Testing and Treatment
Joint WHO, UNAIDS and UNICEF Report of 4M People from Low and Middle Income Countries on Treatment in 2008 is a 36% Increase from 2007; However, Millions of the 33M People Infected Worldwide Still Lack Treatment-and Many Don't Even Know They Are HIV-Positive
Los Angeles, CA - October 8, 2009 - AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today hailed the news that four million people from low and middle income countries living with HIV/AIDS were on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment in 2008, a 36% increase over 2007. The news came in a new report, 'Towards Universal Access: Scaling Up Priority HIV/AIDS Interventions in the Health Sector' (September 2009) released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The numbers also represent a tenfold increase of those on treatment over the past five years; however, AHF officials note that of the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, millions more still lack access to lifesaving treatment, and countless numbers of those do not even know their HIV status, as they have never been tested for the virus.
"Four million lives are being saved today because many more people in resource-poor countries around the globe now have access to medical care and lifesaving antiretroviral medications-an accomplishment we should all take a moment to celebrate and cheer," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation which currently provides medical care and services to more than 110,000 individuals in 21 countries worldwide. "However, there are 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and millions still lack access to this rising lifeboat of AIDS care and treatment. The vast majority of people infected with HIV worldwide don't know it, as they have never had a chance to get tested for the virus. While the treatment numbers reported today are welcome progress in the global battle against AIDS, we should take heed of the fact that this report also shows the need for dramatically stepped up HIV testing services as a means to break the chain of new infections and identify and link people in need to care and treatment."
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 80,000 individuals in 22 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org
Tel: (323) 860-5225
Fax: (323) 468-0400
Associate Director of Communications
Source: AIDS Heathcare Foundation