About 33.4 million people around the world are infected with HIV, up from 33 million in 2007—an increase that can be explained by the fact that fewer people are dying with HIV, the BBC reports. What’s more, there’s been a significant drop in the number of new infections, according to the World Health Organization and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/Aids, who say that drug treatments have helped save lives. Since the availability of effective treatment in 1996, a new report notes, about 2.9 million lives have been saved. Since the epidemic began, almost 60 million people have been infected by HIV, and 25 million people have died due to causes related to the virus. Thanks in part to HIV prevention programs, new infections have been reduced by 17 per cent over the past eight years, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the hardest hit area, the number of new infections is down by around 15 per cent from 2001, meaning about 400,000 fewer infections in 2008 alone.