Incidence, death rates on decline for HIV, malaria and TB
According to a new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, there has been a significant reduction in the global burden of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis since 2000, when governments worldwide adopted Millennium Development Goal 6 to combat these diseases.
“We have seen a huge increase in both funding and the policy attention given to HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) over the past 13 years, and our findings show that a focus on these specific diseases has had a real impact,” said lead author Christopher Murray, MD, DPhil, lead author and professor of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle. “However, much remains to be done and all three diseases continue to be major health challenges in 2013.”
Murray and colleagues analyzed the available data to track the global, regional and national incidence, prevalence, and premature death caused by HIV, malaria, and TB for 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. They used data from all available sources, including vital registration systems and verbal autopsy data.
Although HIV incidence worldwide has declined substantially since its peak in 1997, 1.8 million people are newly infected each year, according to a press release from The Lancet. As of 2012, 29 million people worldwide are living with the disease. The rate of new infections in children has decreased 62% since 2002.
This assessment reveals that the HIV epidemic is smaller than previously estimated, with the overall amount of ill-health and premature death resulting from HIV roughly 25% lower than the latest estimate provided by UNAIDS in 2012, according to the press release. Murray also presented the data during AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
The data also show that malaria is killing more people than previously estimated, although the number of deaths has fallen rapidly since 2004. Malaria deaths peaked in 2004 at around 1.2 million, declining to 855,000 in 2013, which is slightly higher than the World Health Organization estimates of 627,000 in 2013.
Overall progress for TB appears promising, with faster rates of decline in incidence in 12 regions of the world compared with the decade before the Millennium Declaration.
“Estimates of the global burden of HIV, malaria and TB are crucial elements of the effort to control these diseases,” Murray said in the release. “However, what is clear from our analysis is how little we reliably know in many countries to track progress. Rapidly reducing the massive uncertainty that surrounds the measurement of these diseases, particularly malaria, will be essential if we are to better monitor, and respond to, evidence about progress, or not, with their control.”
For more information:
Murray C. Global, regional, and national incidence and mortality for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria during 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Presented at: 20th International AIDS Conference; July 20-25, 2014; Melbourne, Australia.