The number of people dying from AIDS-related illnesses has also declined the past several years. In 2009, according to UNAIDS, approximately 1.8 million people died, compared with 2.1 million in 2004 – almost a 20 percent decline. Most experts attribute that success to better access to treatment. The number of people getting treatment has increased 7.5 times in the last five years – up to 5.2 million in 2009, compared with 700,000 in 2004.
UNAIDS also reports that the number of people living with HIV has increased slightly, as life expectancy improves because of access to antiretroviral treatments. The Monitor reports that the US alone has provided those treatments to 2.4 million people worldwide.