Life-saving AIDS drugs push HIV numbers to new high

November 21, 2011 11:35

LONDON - More people than ever are living with the AIDS virus but this is largely due to better access to drugs that keep HIV patients alive and well for many years, the United Nations AIDS program (UNAIDS) said on Monday.

In its annual report on the pandemic, UNAIDS said the number of people dying of the disease fell to 1.8 million in 2010, down from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s.

UNAIDS director Michel Sidibe said the past 12 months had been a "game-changing year" in the global AIDS fight.

Some 2.5 million deaths have been averted in poor and middle-income countries since 1995 due to AIDS drugs being introduced and access to them improving, according to UNAIDS.

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