The world has finally reached "the beginning of the end" of the
AIDS pandemic that has killed millions in the past three decades.
But in a report to mark World AIDS Day on December 1, the
ONE campaign, an advocacy group working to end poverty and preventable disease
in African countries, reminds that, "The tipping point in fight against disease
globally has been reached but still more to do."
"We've passed the tipping point in the AIDS fight at the global level,
but not all countries are there yet, and the gains made can easily stall or
unravel," Erin Hohlfelder, ONE's director of global health policy, said.
The HIV that causes AIDS is spread via blood, semen and breast milk. There
is no cure for the infection, but it can be kept at bay with cocktails of
The AIDS pandemic began more than three decades ago and has killed up to 40
million people worldwide.
The United Nations AIDS agency says that, by June 2014, around 14 million
people globally had access to AIDS drugs, a drastic improvement on the 5
million who were getting treatment in 2010.
"Despite the good news, we should not take a victory lap yet,"
She pointed out several threats to current progress, including a $3 billion
shortfall in the funds needed each year to control HIV around the world.
"We need funding from a more diversified base, including more from
African domestic budgets," she said.
ONE campaign also noted that HIV is increasingly concentrated among
hard-to-reach communities such as injecting drug users, sex workers and gay men
- groups who are often stigmatised and have trouble accessing prevention
services and treatment.