Two major studies published this week measure the global public health progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goal, established in 2000, to combat AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The first study shows that new HIV/AIDS cases have decreased since 1997 through widespread use of antiretrovirals and other prevention measures; the incidence of malaria has similarly dropped.
Because the mass administration of drugs to control neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) did not begin until 2006, it is too soon to assess their long-term impact, says Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty. But a second study shows the greatest declines in NTDs (75 percent since 1990) have been for human African trypanosomiasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by the tsetse fly. Untreated, it is usually fatal.
Read Hotez’s analysis of the two reports in “Millennium Development Goal 6: Measuring Progress,” published on July 25, 2014, in PLOS Blogs.