Author: Sands, Peter
Source: Financial Times
On the agenda of issues competing for global action, one might think that the threat level of HIV/Aids can now be safely downgraded. The latest report from the United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) reveals that the number of people infected with HIV globally is down by almost a fifth to 33.2m, much of which is due to India’s estimated HIV prevalence being halved. Moreover, global HIV incidence – the number of new HIV infections per year – is now estimated to have peaked in the late 1990s. For those of us who have lived under the shadow of apocalyptic global health predictions during the last three decades, this is surely a time for celebration. The corner, one might deduce, has been turned.
If only this was the case. The main reason for such a significant adjustment in the figures is new and better methods of data collection. The fact is that there are still tens of millions of people living with HIV, and the pandemic retains its grim status as the primary cause of death in Africa and one of the leading causes of death in the world. This means that HIV/Aids continues to pose a grave strategic threat to business.