Lowest Number of AIDS-Related Deaths in History

Laura Pisano

The United Nations reported that the number of people living with HIV has a hit a record low of 34 million people. Over the years, there has been much awareness about HIV that has caused more people than ever to seek out treatment.

The first antiretroviral medicines were developed in 1996, but since then they have significantly advanced. Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS told AFP News that this year had been a “game-changer” for AIDS development and, “For the first time we are able to demonstrate if you put people early on treatment, you can reduce the number of new infections.”

In countries such as Africa, twenty percent more people received AIDS treatment this year than from 2009-2010. Advancements in AIDS treatments have significantly helped lower the number of AIDS related deaths. According to AFP News, in 2006, 2.2 million people died from AIDS; in 2010, the number was down to 1.8 million people.

In addition to lowering the amount of AIDS related deaths, there have been advancements in AIDS awareness and protection. There has been less transmission of AIDS over the past years than ever before. UNAIDS said that AIDS epidemic may not be over, but “the end may be insight if countries invest smartly.” Events such as Worlds AIDS Day help to promote AIDS awareness around the world.

World AIDS Day is held on December 1 of each year, and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died. This year, the University of New Haven, Quinnipiac, Southern Connecticut State University, and Yale will all be participating in a flash mob on the New Haven Green to join in World AIDS Day on December 1.