HIV -LILONGWE ( Frank Jomo, Bloomberg) —number of new HIV infections in Malawi fell by 52% in the past ten years due to free anti- retroviral drugs, Malawi’s National Aids Commission said.

New annual cases declined to 42,000 in 2014 from 89,000 cases in 2004, the commission said in a statement published in the Blantyre-based Nation newspaper.

“The introduction of free ART has averted over 200,000 deaths, including about 37,000 in 2014 alone,” according to the statement.

More than half of all new HIV infections occurred in women aged 15 years and older in 2014, it said.

HIV prevalence declined to 10% last year from 14.7% in 2010, also due to free anti-retroviral treatment.