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28 May 2015 - 16:16

GENEVA, 27 May 2015— UNAIDS welcomes additional evidence that starting antiretroviral therapy at a higher CD4 (a measure of immune system health) level has a positive effect on the health and well-being of people living with HIV.“Every person living with HIV should have immediate access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Delaying access to HIV treatment under any pretext is denying the right to health.” The NIH-funded international randomized clinical trial START (Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment) has found compelling evidence that the benefits of immediately starting antiretroviral therapy outweigh the risks. Data from the study showed that the risk of AIDS, other serious illnesses or death was reduced by 53% among people who started treatment when their CD4 levels were 500 or above, compared to the group whose treatment was deferred to when their CD4 levels dropped to 350.

26 May 2015 - 15:30

GENEVA, 21 May 2015—The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) would like to call attention to the urgent and compelling case for the international community to take all measures possible to protect the health of people living in least-developed countries (LDCs).The proposal was put forward by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDCs group and is now before the WTO TRIPS Council. It requests an extension of the period under which LDCs are exempt from applying protections for pharmaceutical related patents and clinical data. The current waiver is due to expire in January 2016.

“Millions of people rely on access to affordable, assured quality generic medicines,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “WTO Members have before them a critical opportunity to help least-developed countries to reach health and sustainable development goals—failure to support them could put millions of lives at risk.”

22 May 2015 - 10:33

New Zimbabwe Agencies

ZIMBABWE’S condom usage now tops that of any other country in the world, with over 109 million condoms used in 2014.The safe sex practices have helped the country lower the number of HIV infections, according to data collected by the state-run National Aids Council (NAC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).“We are the highest consumers of condoms in the world currently, that is why we have realised a reduction in HIV infection rates,” Amon Mpofu, NAC’s director of monitoring and evaluating, told News24 in South Africa on Thursday.“We had 104 million male condoms and 5.2 million female condoms distributed in 2014 alone.” HIV infections in Zimbabwe were cut in half for adults from 2009 to 2015, and by 30 percent among children from 2010 to 2015.

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