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HIV: UNAIDS says 2m people are infected by virus annually

Volunteers light up candles in the shape of an HIV/AIDS awareness "Red Ribbon" during the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in San Salvador May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/Files

Sidibé said in Western and Central Africa, there are about 6.7 million people living with HIV in 2015.

The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has said no fewer than two million people are infected annually by HIV virus.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Michel Sidibé disclosed to newsmen at a press briefing ahead of the World AIDS Day on Thursday, November 30.

"Since 2010, there have been no declines in new HIV infections among adults. Every year since 2010, around 1.9 to 2.2 million adults have become newly infected with HIV," he said.

Sidibé said in Western and Central Africa, there are about 6.7 million people living with HIV in 2015.

"Women account for nearly 60 per cent of the total number of people living with HIV in Western and Central Africa.

"In 2015, there were an estimated 410,000 new HIV infections in Western and Central Africa," the UNAIDS chief said.

According to him, in Western and Central Africa, 330,000 people died of AIDS-related causes since 2015.

He added that there are 66,000 new HIV infections among children in the two sub-regions in 2015.

He, however, said that there has been a 31 per cent decline in new HIV infections among children in the sub-regions since 2010.

Sidibé disclosed that 1.8 million people are currently accessing anti-retroviral therapy, making up 28 per cent of all the people living with HIV in the region.

The UNAIDS official, however, said that the efficacy of the HIV vaccines currently in use was less than 35 per cent.

"The vaccine we have to date, the efficacy of that vaccine is less than 35 per cent.

"So we have a research and we have a vaccine that is undergoing clinical trial in South Africa; we believe we can have a better efficacy of the vaccine," Sidibé said.

The UNAIDS official, however, said that in spite of the percentage of its efficacy, people who are put early on treatment have the possibility to live longer lives.

"If we have people on treatment on time, it will reduce the infection by suppressing the activities of the virus in the blood.

"If you don’t put somebody on treatment on time, the life expectancy is 29 years but if you put them early on treatment, they can reach over 50 years with healthy lifestyles," Sidibe added.

NAN reports that World AIDS Day is observed annually every Dec. 1 to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and show support for people living with HIV.

This post was syndicated from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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