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AIDS status & challenges of the epidemic

8. Conclusion on progress made in the fight against AIDS

    In 2001, leaders from 189 UN Member States unanimously recognized that AIDS is among the greatest development crises in human history and agreed to act nationally and internationally to stop the epidemic. They signed the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS to help reach the Millennium Development Goal of stopping and beginning to reverse the epidemic by 2015. They also agreed to meet detailed targets, for instance in terms of funding, provision of information to young people, and access to treatment.

    A review of all the efforts made between 2001 and 2005 revealed that:

    • There have been great improvements in the fight against AIDS, but progress varies greatly between countries and regions. In some countries, there is much better access to treatment but prevention programmes are not adequate. In others, the proportion of people living with HIV is falling, but progress towards greater access to treatment is slow. Only some countries have reached the key targets that had been set for 2005.
    • In most countries, a strong foundation now exists on which to build an effective HIV response, with increasing political commitment and partner coordination at country level. The amount of government money available to fight HIV has increased significantly. There is now much better access to treatment, testing and counselling. More young people are given information on HIV and AIDS at school and blood collected for blood transfusions is now routinely screened for HIV in most countries.
    • There are still significant weaknesses in the fight against HIV.

      • HIV prevention programmes do not reach enough of those at greatest risk. In 2005 for instance, less than 50% of young people were well-informed about HIV while only 9% of men who have sex with men and fewer than 20% of injecting drug users received any type of HIV prevention service. Only 9% of infected pregnant women were given antiretroviral drugs.
      • The 15 million children orphaned by AIDS and millions of other children made vulnerable by the epidemic do not receive proper care and support.
      • There is stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
      • Half of the countries have policies that interfere with HIV-prevention and care programmes.
    • The global AIDS response must become substantially stronger, more strategic and better coordinated in order to achieve the 2010 targets.

    Today, the world possesses the means to begin to reverse the epidemic, but success will require unprecedented willingness on the part of all actors in the global response, including to sustain efforts over the long term. More...

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