Most HIV infections take place in Sub-Saharan Africa: report

JOHANNESBURG — Most HIV infections in the past 12 months across the world took place in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to figures released on Wednesday.

During the period, over two million more people have contracted HIV, bringing the number of people living with HIV to 35 million globally, says a report released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The UNAIDS report points out that of the 35 million HIV infected people, 19 million do not know they have the virus.

Close to 13 million people now have access to antiretroviral treatment (ARV), an increase of 2.3 million from last year, says the report.

Three out of four people on treatment are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This comes as more people get tested and governments secure funding for treatment.

South Africa continues to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic.

One in five new HIVE infections in the world took place in South Africa, Chief Executive Officer of the South African National AIDS Council, Doctor Fareed Abdullah, said.

One out of every four new infections in South Africa is in young women between the ages of 15 and 24, Abdullah said in remarks distributed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

He said the number of new HIV infections among young women remain a major challenge.

Although with a higher infection rate, South Africa puts more HIV patients on antiretroviral treatment, compared with other African countries.

One in five people on antiretroviral treatment in the world lives in South Africa. That means 250, 000 of those 2.4 million are being treated in the public sector in South Africa, according to Abdullah. Xinhua

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