Can we control the global AIDS epidemic by 2030?

BY Talia Mindich  July 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM EDT

AIDS related deaths and HIV infections worldwide are decreasing, a UN agency reported Wednesday, and—with greater funding—it is possible to control the global epidemic by 2030.

A gap report issued by USAIDS reported new infection of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS have dropped to the lowest levels this century at around 2.1 million. Those rates have fallen by 13 percent in the last three years.

“If we accelerate all HIV scale-up by 2020, we will be on track to end the epidemic by 2030,” said Michel Sidibe, director of UNAIDS, in a press release. “If not, we risk significantly increasing the time it would take—adding a decade.”

In every region of the world, says UNAIDS, only three or four countries are driving the epidemic. In sub-Saharan Africa, only three countries—Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda—account for 48 percent of all new HIV infections.