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UN Plan to Halt HIV Needs More Money, Less Complacency

Ending the disease's spread by 2030 faces "enormous" challenges.
An HIV-positive patient is given a month worth of medication during a routine antiretroviral consultation.

An HIV-positive patient is given a month worth of medication during a routine antiretroviral consultation.

Photographer: MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images

The world committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 with goals adopted this year by the United Nations. But is that realistic, or even possible?

There are a lot of reasons for optimism on this World AIDS Day. The number of new infections has dropped 35 percent since 2000, according to the World Health Organization. HIV-linked deaths, which peaked in 2004, have dropped 40 percent since. And wider access to antiretroviral medicines is extending lives, suppressing the virus, and preventing its spread.