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News in the Humanosphere: New AIDS Data Brings Some Positive News

Sign posted near the Simonga school, in Zambia.
Sign posted near the Simonga school, in Zambia.
John Rawlinson

Ahead of next week’s big International AIDS Conference in Australia, UNAIDS released a report demonstrating that new HIV infections and deaths were decreasing, putting in prospect the an end to the epidemic in by 2030. Key data from the report:

  • New HIV infections have fallen by 38% since 2001.
  • Worldwide, 2.1 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2013, down from -3.4 million in 2001
  • New HIV infections among children have declined by 58% since 2001.
  • Worldwide, 240,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2013, down from 580,000 in 2001.
  • AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 35% since the peak in 2005.
  • 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV globally do not know their HIV-positive status.
  • 90% of sub-Saharan Africans who learn they are HIV positive seek treatment.

A humanitarian pause for Gaza? Israel has agreed to a UN-brokered six hour ceasefire from 10-3pm today to allow humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza. As of press time it was unclear where or not Hamas would agree. In the meantime, Israeli officials strongly signaled that a ground invasion was likely. (NYT)

A new global index takes an outward turn by comparing how much good countries create in the world. Surprisingly, Ireland comes out on top. (Humanosphere )


West Africa: Since the Ebola outbreak began last March, more than 600 people have died. This mounting death toll is presenting families and health authorities with a grim new problem: What do you do with the bodies? (NPR)

Fighting in Central African Republic may have claimed more lives than previously thought because many Muslim victims were never taken to state hospitals and families buried their dead at home because of security fears, according to aid workers. (Thompson Reuters Foundation)

A United Nations panel that monitors compliance with UN sanctions on Somalia has accused the country’s president, a former minister, and a U.S. law firm of conspiring to divert Somali assets recovered abroad, according to a new report. (Reuters)

A Nigerian military offensive against Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram has opened up a corridor for mobile units of health workers to vaccinate children against polio in parts of the northeast. But the worsening insurgency poses a grave risk to the campaign to stamp out the crippling virus. (VOA)

Worsening conflict in Darfur and an influx of people fleeing war in South Sudan helped push to almost seven million the number needing aid in Sudan, the UN said Wednesday. (AP)

An estimated two million people with disabilities in Zambia face significant barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment, according to a new Human Rights Watch report. (allAfrica)

Malawi’s Solicitor General told that UN that people are not being arrested in the country for same-sex acts, until the anti-gay laws are reviewed. (Nyasa Times)


Four young children were killed by an Israeli mortar as they played on the beach in Gaza. The scene was witnessed by many journalists staying at a nearby hotel. (WaPo)

Western consultants helping Egypt compile an economic reform plan say it needs at least $60 billion of investment to reach average GDP growth of 5 percent by 2018 and the same amount again to bolster its foreign reserves, senior officials said. (Reuters)

An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced nine men accused of sexual assault to terms of 20 years to life, in an apparent sign that officials were following through on a personal promise by Egypt’s new president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, to crack down on sexual violence against women. (NYT)

Two philanthropists are in the final stages of preparing what is thought to be the first privately-funded search and rescue operation for migrants in the Mediterranean. (Guardian)


The growing vitality of the group of countries made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which is beginning to formalize its institutions even as it tries to bridge very disparate realities, seems to be partly cemented by increasing links between its companies. (IPS)

The Philippine government turned its focus to cleaning up after a strong typhoon cut across the northern island of Luzon Wednesday, causing flooding in the capital, killing at least 10 people and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands. (VOA)

As the fiercest storm since Haiyan lands, the Philippines is keen to prove it has learned lessons from last year’s tragedy. (Guardian)

The Americas

Protesters and counter-protesters squared off in a small Arizona community over where to shelter a surge of unaccompanied immigrant children entering the country, becoming the second border state this month to enter the emotional controversy. (CNN)

Human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean is becoming nearly as profitable as drug trafficking, for organized crime. (El Mundo)


What’s the difference between immigrant and refugee? (CNN)

Conflict over water rights in Ecuador (Al Jazeera English)

There’s a looming political crisis for the USA should the Security Council press for a Gaza ceasefire resolution. (UN Dispatch)

John Oliver explains how the US contributed to Uganda’s anti-gay law (Humanosphere)

Ripple Effects of the Drug War: New Research on the Transnational Effects of Antinarcotics Policy (CGD)

Does it matter if firms profit from disaster? (ODI)

Learning how to redesign a successful product (KM on a Dollar a Day)

How Change Happens: Supporting tribal people to claim their rights to India’s forests (From Poverty to Power)


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]