HIV in the WHO African Region: Progress towards achieving universal access to priority health sector interventions, 2011 update

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This is the first report issued by the WHO Regional Office for Africa that combines an analysis of the empirical data generated by HIV surveillance systems and progress made so far in expanding access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services in the WHO African Region.

It focuses on priority interventions of the health sector response to HIV that are especially relevant to the epidemiological situation in countries of the Region, some of which are predominantly implemented in the Region. These include, among others, HIV testing and counselling, providing treatment and care, including for the dual HIV/TB co-infection, and preventing mother-to-child transmission.

The key highlights of the report include the following:
  • The median HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics has been declining, from 9.5% in 2000 to 3.4% in 2008.
  • More than 31 million HIV tests were done in 31 199 health facilities in the African Region in 2009 from
  • Fifty-four percent of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral drugs for preventing mother-to-child transmission in 2009
  • Almost four million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy in the African Region from 8278 health facilities
  • More than 45% of people with TB received an HIV test, and 75% of those found to be living with HIV received co-trimoxazole preventive therapy. Antiretroviral therapy coverage among people living with HIV and TB increased but is still low at 37%.
The report provides recommendations for intensified actions to reduce the number of people newly infected with HIV and to accelerate progress towards achieving universal access for HIV interventions and services, eliminating the mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.