"--IANS/EFE"
Sydney, July 22 (IANS/EFE) The number of people with HIV has dropped by 18.7 percent since 2012, according to a report made public at the 20th International AIDS Conference being held in Melbourne.

Our calculation of the number of people living with HIV is 18.7 percent lower than what UNAIDS estimated in 2012, said the study led by the University of Washington, which was published in the journal, The Lancet.

The report establishes that the number of people in the world with HIV, tuberculosis or malaria has decreased since 2000.

Around 1.8 million new HIV infections and around 1.3 million deaths were registered in the world in 2013, while in the highest peak of the epidemic in 2005, HIV caused 1.7 million deaths.

The study, Incidence and mortality of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria at the national, regional and global level during 1990-2013: a systematic analysis of the global burden of the disease 2013, said however that despite the general data, 101 countries, 74 of them developing nations, continue to register an increase in HIV cases.

The incidence of the disease in Latin America and Eastern Europe is substantially less than in earlier estimates, while it is substantially higher in the Asia Pacific region, especially in Thailand and Papua New Guinea.

One of the scientists who participated in the study, Allen Lopez from Melbourne University, told the Australian channel ABC that the key factor in the decline can be attributed to effective global HIV treatment.

We have seen an array of treatments in the last six or seven years, particularly as it relates to retroviral treatments and the prevention of transmission from mother to child, said Lopez.

The 20th International AIDS Conference being held July 20-25 was marked by the death of six Dutch experts who were travelling to Melbourne on the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

--IANS/EFE

ab/vm


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