Nairobi, KENYA: A recently released international report on People Living With HIV and AIDS has revealed that the number of people accessing treatment has surpassed the 2015 global target.
The Global AIDS update 2016 released in Nairobi reveals that an estimated 17 million people were accessing life-saving anti-retroviral medicines at the end of 2015.
An additional 2 million people have also gained access over a 12-month period.The 15 million target was set up by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011.
The latest UNAIDS data covering 160 countries explains that since the first global treatment target was set in 2003, annual AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 43%.
Speaking during the release on Tuesday UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said the potential of anti-retroviral therapy is being realized all over the world and urged all countries to seize the opportunity.
“I urge all countries to seize this unprecedented opportunity to put HIV prevention and treatment programmes on the Fast-Track and end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” said Sidibé.
Nduku Kilonzo the Executive Director National AIDS Control Council NACC agreed with Sidibé and continued that despite the progress made in Kenya more needed to be done.
“We are wiping the floor but the tap is still running. We must invest in prevention. The world must have a target for prevention and allocate dedicated resources to prevention,” she said.
Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu called for continued collaboration between the government NACC and UNAIDS amongst other stakeholders in a bid to reduce prevalence.
“We must catalyze investments across different sectors, with a focus on cost-effective and socially inclusive programmes if we are to succeed,” he said.
The Global AIDS update 2016 states that the world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
This comes as world leaders prepare to gather for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, to take place in New York, United States of America, from 8 to 10 June 2016.