November 30, 2023
Over the last 15 years, there has been great progress in combating HIV/AIDS. AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 51 percent since the epidemic peaked in 2004. Over 21 million people living with HIV now receive the treatment they need to make the disease a chronic illness rather than a death sentence. However, there are still almost two million new infections every year, and of the 1.8 million children living with HIV globally, only half are on treatment.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is one of the most effective tools used against the virus and new drugs provide both adults and children with cheaper, less toxic, and more effective options, achieving faster viral suppression with fewer side effects. But ensuring access to the best ART regimens can be challenging, especially for children. Even when patients do begin ART, staying on treatment can be difficult. Bringing the HIV epidemic under control is within reach, but smart, targeted approaches are needed to break the cycle of infection.
CHAI works with government and donor partners to test smart, treat right, and ensure those who are not infected with HIV stay negative. We work with the public and private sector to make high-quality and effective first- and second-line treatments more affordable. We also support national pediatric programs to introduce better HIV products for children. Along with our partners, we are introducing new models of care that make it easier for people to stay on treatment. To prevent new infections and stop the spread of the disease, we are working with countries to introduce proven interventions, such as voluntary medical male circumcision, which reduces the risk of heterosexually-acquired HIV infection in men by 60 percent; and in areas of high virus concentration, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an anti-HIV medication given to HIV-negative individuals to protect them from contracting the virus.