For first time, half with HIV on AIDS drugs
LONDON — More than half of all those infected with HIV — for the first time in the global AIDS epidemic that has spanned four decades and killed 35 million people — are on drugs to treat the virus, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.
AIDS deaths are also now close to half of what they were in 2005, according to the U.N. AIDS agency, although those figures are based on estimates and not actual counts from countries.
Experts applauded the progress but questioned whether the billions spent in the past two decades should have produced more impressive results. The U.N. report was released in Paris, where an AIDS meeting begins this weekend.
“When you think about the money that’s been spent on AIDS, it could have been better,” said Sophie Harman, a senior lecturer in global health politics at Queen Mary University in London.
According to the report , about 19.5 million people with HIV were taking AIDS drugs in 2016, compared with 17.1 million the previous year.
Pedestrians pass on the streets of the Plaka district of Athens on Thursday, with the Acropolis hill in the background.