WHO: On track to 15 million on AIDS drugs by 2015
BY LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer
Thursday, July 26, 2012
WASHINGTON — The World Health Organization said the global target of 15 million people taking life-saving AIDS drugs by 2015 is just a first step.
With 8 million people in poor countries taking them now, WHO's Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall told the International AIDS conference the world should meet the higher goal.
But the number needing drugs rises to 23 million with the goal beyond that: People who aren't yet as sick but need treatment to lower their chances of spreading the virus. That includes high-risk populations, people in relationships with healthy partners, and pregnant women who would need to be kept on medication after their babies are born.
Hirnschall urged countries to expand HIV testing so they can start reaching those people, saying "now is not the time to be timid."
In this July 12 photo, a health worker counts antiretroviral drug tablets for a patient at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in the capital Kampala, Uganda. STEPHEN WANDERA/AP Photo