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UN report on global HIV/AIDS status

Apr 05, 2011

The report Uniting for universal access: Towards zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths released by United Nations Secretary-General reveals that the rate of new HIV infections is declining globally over the past decade. However, the report underscores that the gains are fragile and insufficient and provides recommendations to strengthen fight against the disease.

Uniting for universal access: Towards zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths 


This report assesses progress and gaps in the AIDS response, based on data submitted by 182 countries and on national and regional reviews on universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Key findings of this report include the following: 

1.    HIV prevention. The number of people newly infected with HIV declined by 19% in the decade  before December 2009, with at least 33 countries experiencing a decline in HIV incidence of  at least 25% and 10 high-prevalence countries achieving the global goal of reducing HIV  prevalence among young people by at least 25%.  Nevertheless, the epidemic continues to outpace the response, underscoring the need to revolutionize efforts to prevent new infections. 

2. Antiretroviral therapy. As of December 2010, more than six million people were estimated to be receiving antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries. Yet the majority of people in need still lack access. 

3. Towards an HIV-free generation: Global coverage for antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent the vertical transmission of HIV has exceeded 50%.  However, more than 10 years after interventions were validated to prevent vertical transmission in resource-limited settings, the world remains far from protecting newborns from becoming infected. 

4. Human rights. About three in 10 countries worldwide still lack laws prohibiting HIV-related discrimination. More than half of countries reported having laws or policies that indirectly or inadvertently reduce service access for vulnerable populations. Many of the countries with anti-discrimination laws do not rigorously enforce them. 

5. Financing the response.  Funding for HIV programmes has dramatically increased, helping drive an overall surge in global health financing. Although in 2009, international HIV assistance declined for the first time, mirroring reductions in other forms of development aid.

Reviewing the past it is seen that in 2009, an estimated 33.3 million people were  living with HIV, a 27% increase from 1999. Globally, nearly 23% of all people living with HIV are younger than 24 years, and people aged 15–24 years account for 35% of all people becoming newly infected. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most severely affected region, accounting for 68% of all people living with HIV, 69% of new infections and 72% of AIDS deaths. More than 10.8 million people are living with HIV outside sub-Saharan Africa. It continues to deepen poverty, increase hunger, slow progress on maternal and child health and exacerbate other infectious diseases. 

The gender dimension of the epidemic shows that in 2009, women are a slight majority (about 51%) of all people living with HIV.

Although global HIV incidence has declined, the number of people acquiring infection remains on the rise in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East and parts of Asia.

On the 30th year of AIDS in 2011 bold decisions must be taken that will reshape the AIDS response to reach zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Political commitment needs to be rejuvenated for more focused, efficient and sustainable responses. It requires recognition that non-discrimination, pragmatism and compassion will yield benefits not only for the HIV response but also across health, development and human rights priorities.  

This report advances five recommendations in AIDS response:

(a) Champion a prevention revolution that harnesses the energy of young people and the potential of  new modes of communication that  are transforming the world, rescinds punitive laws that block effective responses and ensures that people are empowered to protect themselves, their partners and their families from HIV. 

(b) Forge a revitalized framework for global solidarity to achieve universal access to HIV 

prevention, treatment, care and support by 2015. 

(c) Break the upward trajectory of costs and deliver more effective, efficient and sustainable programmes. 

(d) Ensure that the responses to HIV promote the health, human rights, security and dignity of women and girls. 

(e) Commit to forging robust mutual accountability mechanism.

Source : UN AIDS
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