BMJ 2015; 351
The annual number of adults and children newly infected with HIV fell from 3.1 million in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2014, show new figures released by the World Health Organization for world AIDS day on 1 December.1
The decline in the number of new infections was even steeper in Africa, which saw a 40% drop (from 2.3 million to 1.4 million) over the same period.
The number of people receiving treatment has also increased substantially, with an estimated 16 million taking antiretrovirals in 2014, 11 million of whom were in Africa. In 2000 just 11 000 people in Africa received antiretrovirals.
WHO’s report describes how the increase in treatment has had a big effect on life expectancy in Africa, which in most countries plummeted between 2000 and 2005. In Zimbabwe, for example, average life expectancy between 1985 and 1990 was around 63 years. This fell to just over 40 years between 2000 and 2005 but has started to rise again, and between 2010 and 2015 it was at around 55. Over the same period life expectancy in Namibia fell from around 62 to 53 years but is now about 64.
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