On the fightback against Aids

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Eastern and Southern Africa are showing the most progress, reducing AIDS-related deaths by 42 percent and new HIV infections by almost 30 percent since 2010, the report said.

The report said the region which showed the most progress was eastern and southern Africa, which had the greatest number of people affected by HIV, a number which accounts for more than half the people living with HIV in the world.

New infections among children nearly halved from 300,000 in 2010 to 160,000 past year, said the report.

The estimated number of people living with HIV in Myanmar is 230,000, and 57pc were accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy.

The decline in infection was the highest in children (47%) because of global scale-up of antiretroviral therapy, which also lowered AIDS deaths by 48%, from a peak of 1.9 million in 2005 to 1million in 2016.

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The UN plan, which aims to ensure that 90 percent of key populations have access to HIV prevention services, has also seen progress as annual new HIV infections in Myanmar have fallen by 26 percent since 2010.

The UNAIDS report on the global HIV epidemic said the decline was the steepest in Asia and the Pacific.

Elected: Associate Professor of Medicine of Post Graduate Medical Institute and Lahore General Hospital Dr Israr-ul-Haque Toor has been elected new Vice-President of Pakistan Society of Gastroenterology and GI Endoscopy (Punjab Chapter) for a period of two years (2017-19).

UNAIDS also said there were about 36.7 million people with HIV in 2016, up slightly from 36.1 million the year before.

The report shows that, globally, new HIV infections are declining, but not at enough pace to meet global targets by 2020.

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Since its 2003 launch by former President George W. Bush, PEPFAR has provided HIV treatment to approximately 11.5 million people worldwide.

The report warned, however, that not all regions are making progress.

He added that continued commitment and support from the government, donors, global and national nongovernmental organizations, community networks and HIV support groups is crucial in achieving the country's HIV response targets. Out of those who knew their HIV status, only 52% were taking ART therapy and 83% of same are virally suppressed.

Sixty percent of all people who receive anti-retroviral therapy live in east and southern Africa, which, along with west and central Europe and the Americas, is on target to meet the so-called 90-90-90 targets set by the United Nations, said the report.

In 2016 these figures were 70 percent, 77 percent and 82 percent, respectively. UNAIDS urged more efforts to keep PLWA in care once they have begun treatment, and lamented that one-third (33 per cent) of people on treatment do not achieve viral suppression.

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