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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-07-01 16:19:08
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WHO wants HIV patients treated sooner to save lives, halt spread



01 July, 2013 - Doctors could save three million more lives worldwide by 2025 if they offer AIDS drugs to people with HIV much sooner after they test positive for the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday. While better access to cheap generic AIDS drugs means many more people are now getting treatment, health workers, particularly in poor countries with limited health budgets, currently tend to wait until the infection has progressed. But in new guidelines aimed at controlling and eventually reducing the global AIDS epidemic, the U.N. health agency said some 26 million HIV-positive people - or around 80 percent of all those with the virus - should be getting drug treatment. The guidelines, which set a global standard for when people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should start antiretroviral treatment, were drawn up after numerous studies found that treating HIV patients earlier can keep them healthy for many years and also lowers the amount of virus in the blood, significantly cutting their risk of infecting someone else. "We are raising the bar to 26 million people," said Gottfried Hirnschall, the WHO's HIV/AIDS department director. And this is not only about keeping people healthy and alive but also about blocking further transmission of HIV." Some 34 million people worldwide have the HIV virus that causes AIDS and the vast majority of them live in poor and developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the worst affected region. (Source: Reuters)




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