"New era of hope" in global HIV/AIDS combat

We have come a big step closer to a world without HIV and AIDS. The UN says better access to drugs to both treat and prevent the disease means an end to the global epidemic is actually in sight.

Progress over the past decade has cut the death toll and helped stabilise the number of people living with HIV.

1.7 million people died from AIDS in 2011, down from a peak of 2.3 million in 2005.

“We are already achieving the millennium development goal of halting and reversing the AIDs epidemic. New HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are declining.” UNAIDS director Michel Sidibé told reporters gathered in Geneva.

34 million people around the world are living with HIV. At 2.5 million, the number of new infections was 20 % lower in 2011 than it was in 2001.