According to new data in the 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update, new HIV infections have been reduced by 17 percent over the past eight years. Since 2001, when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed, the number of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 15 percent lower, which is around 400,000 fewer infections in 2008.
In East Asia, new HIV infections declined by nearly 25 percent and in South and South-East Asia by 10 percent in the same period. In Eastern Europe, after a dramatic increase in new infections among injecting drug users, the epidemic has leveled off considerably. However, in some countries there are signs that new HIV infections are rising again.
The report, released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), highlights that beyond the peak and natural course of the epidemic, HIV prevention programmes are making a difference.