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[afro-nets] UN report shows big progress in fight against AIDS

  • From: "Claudio Schuftan" <cschuftan@phmovement.org>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 10:06:04 -0700

Cross posted from: "[health-vn discussion group]" health-vn@cairo.anu.edu.au


UN report shows big progress in fight against AIDS

An upbeat United Nations agency reports significant progress over the past two years in preventing HIV infections, but says more money will be required, especially in the battle against AIDS.

Top official of a joint UN project to prevent the spread of HIV, Peter Piot, said HIV prevention efforts that target drug users, gay men, and sex workers in heavily affected countries have tripled. He also said that AIDS related deaths are on the decline.

The report prepared by UNAIDS and its co-sponsoring UN agencies is compiled every two years and monitors the global response to AIDS. The study shows at least 33 million people in the world are living with HIV and there are nearly 7,500 new infections each day.

Teatment is more accessible with at least three million people receiving anti-retroviral treatment. Also, 33 percent of pregnant women are treated with drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission, resulting in a decrease of infections among children from 410,000 to 370,000, Mr Piot said.

Young people are also changing their behavior. The report shows they increasingly delay sexual intercourse and practice safer sex.

According to Thoraya Obaid, director of the UN Population Fund, 45 percent of new adult infections occurred among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 last year.

Both UN officials noted the progress is significant, but said financing the fight against HIV/AIDS will have to be increased in the next few years.

More than 100 countries are trying to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

Vern Weitzel