UNAIDS: 21 million HIV positive people receiving treatment in the world

UNAIDS launched a new report in Khayelitsha which shows access to treatment has risen significantly over the years.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi (L) and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé (C) in Khayelitsha on 20 November 2017. Picture: @MichelSidibe.

CAPE TOWN - The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAIDS) says nearly 21 million people living with HIV are now receiving treatment in the world.

On Monday, UNAIDS launched a new report in Khayelitsha which shows access to treatment has risen significantly over the years.

The launch comes ahead of World Aids Day on 1 December.

Speaking in Khayelitsha on Monday, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé says in the year 2000, there were only 90 people in South Africa on HIV treatment.

Today the country has the biggest life-saving programme in the world, with more than four million people receiving treatment.

Sidibé adds scientific research shows a person living with the virus who is adhering to an effective regime of antiretroviral therapy, is up to 97% less likely to transmit HIV.

From 2010 to 2016, new HIV infections among children were reduced by 56% in eastern and southern Africa after authorities upscaled treatment access for infected pregnant women.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who attended the launch says in 2001 the first person in Khayelitsha started HIV treatment.

Today, there are almost 42,000 being treated there.