HIV Infection Rate Fell 25% Over the Last Decade

But 34 million live with AIDS, and young women especially continue to be infected

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To mark Sunday's 30th anniversary of the first reported case of AIDS, the United Nations issued a release with an encouraging headline: the global rate of new HIV infections has fallen 25 percent over the last decade. Countries in continents that have the most HIV prevalence, such as India and South Africa, saw notable declines in infection rates of 50 percent and 35 percent respectively, while the last decade's increased global investment and awareness campaigns have resulted in safer sexual practices.

But, for all the progress made, the report notes that there are still 34 million people living with AIDS worldwide and, from UN's press release, it seems as if there's an education and gender gap that may be hindering prevention efforts:

Young men are more likely to be informed about HIV prevention than young women. Recent Demographic Health Surveys found that an estimated 74% of young men know that condoms are effective in preventing HIV infection, compared to just 49% of young women...

...According to the report, gender inequalities remain a major barrier to effective HIV responses. HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, and more than a quarter (26%) of all new global HIV infections are among young women aged 15-24.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.