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July 19, 2016
Number of people living with HIV increased but mortality down, says GBD paper

Estimates of global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and mortality of HIV, 1980-2015: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 has been published in The Lancet HIV by the GBD 2015 HIV Collaborators, of which Prof. Simon Hay, Prof. Pete Gething, Dr Iqbal Elyazar and Dr Donal Bisanzio are members.

The paper provides national estimates of levels and trends of HIV/AIDS incidence, prevalence, coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and mortality for 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015.

Global HIV incidence reached its peak in 1997, at approximately 3·3 million new infections. Annual incidence has stayed relatively constant at about 2·6 million per year since 2005, after a period of fast decline between 1997 and 2005.

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS has been steadily increasing and reached approximately 38·8 million in 2015. At the same time, HIV/AIDS mortality has been declining at a steady pace, from a peak of approximately 1·8 million deaths in 2005, to 1·2 million deaths in 2015.

Scale-up of ART and prevention of mother-to-child transmission has been one of the great successes of global health in the past two decades. However, in the past decade, progress in reducing new infections has been slow, development assistance for health devoted to HIV has stagnated, and resources for health in low-income countries have grown slowly.

Achievement of the new ambitious goals for HIV enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal 3 and the 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets will be challenging, and will need continued efforts from governments and international agencies in the next 15 years to end AIDS by 2030.