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Sub-Saharan Africa registers biggest declines in AIDS infections, says UNAIDS

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 01 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2843
  1. Henry Wasswa
  1. Kampala

The numbers of people infected with and dying of AIDS worldwide have fallen, but sub-Saharan Africa, which for decades was the region hardest hit by AIDS, has seen the biggest reduction, UNAIDS has reported.

“Numbers of new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths have continued to decrease globally, bringing the AIDS response closer to achieving ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030,” said UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS) in a report published ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December.1 “Improved access to treatment has averted an estimated 20.8 million deaths globally.”

It added that the biggest declines in new HIV infections had been observed in sub-Saharan Africa. “Fewer people acquired HIV in 2022 than at any point since the late 1980s,” it said.

UNAIDS said that 1.3 million people around the world were infected with HIV in 2022, and the total number of people with the virus stood at 39 million. Altogether, 630 000 people died of AIDS related illnesses in 2022.

An earlier UNAIDS report released on 13 July, The Path that Ends AIDS …

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