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Scales tip in fight against HIV

The scales have tipped in the fight against AIDS, with more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment and AIDS-related deaths almost halving since 2005, the UN says.
In its latest global report on the pandemic, which has killed around 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s, the UNAIDS agency said there were particularly encouraging signs in Africa, a continent ravaged by the disease.
Eastern and southern Africa are leading the way, reducing new HIV infections by nearly 30 percent since 2010, the report said. Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe have gone further, cutting new HIV infections by 40 per cent or more since 2010.
And among the most significant impacts of a vast scale-up of HIV testing, treatment and prevention programs, has been in the reduction of AIDS-related deaths, which have dropped by almost half since 2005.
As a result, more people in what had been some of the worst affected countries, are now living longer. In eastern and southern Africa, for example, average life expectancy increased by nearly 10 years from 2006 to 2016.
"Communities and families are thriving as AIDS is being pushed back," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe. "As we bring the epidemic under control, health outcomes are improving and nations are becoming stronger."
The report warned, however, that not all regions are making progress. In the Middle East and North Africa, and in eastern Europe and central Asia, AIDS-related deaths have risen by 48 per cent and 38 per cent respectively, it said, mostly due to HIV-positive patients not getting access to treatment.
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