The number of AIDS-related deaths declined for the third year in a row, according to a new report from UNAIDS.
The United Nations report released Monday found 700,000 deaths were averted in 2010, due in large part to better access to medication. Improved treatment also played a hand in lowering the cases of new infections, which is down 21 percent, the report found.
Approximately 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related illness, down from 2.2 million in 2005. There were an estimated 2.7 million new HIV infections in 2010, down from 3.2 million in 1997.
“The number of new HIV infections is 30-50% lower now than it would have been in the absence of universal access to treatment for eligible people living with HIV,” the UN said in a statement.
Though the AIDS epidemic is not over, the UN added that with smart investments from countries in treatment options “the end may be in sight.”