|UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman launch the UNAIDS 2006 ‘Report on the global AIDS epidemic’ in New York.|
By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, USA, 30 May 2006 – The most comprehensive report ever compiled on the AIDS pandemic says the global rate of infection appears to be slowing down.
However, the UNAIDS 2006 ‘Report on the global AIDS epidemic’ finds that new infections are continuing to increase in some regions, and that AIDS remains an exceptional threat.
“We’ve seen important progress made by countries in the past five years with funding, with the decrease in numbers of new infections, especially amongst young people, and more people on treatment – which signals we are beginning to see a return on the investment for AIDS funding,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot.
The new report, released today, also shows the impact that AIDS is having on the lives of children. Every day there are an estimated 1,500 new HIV infections among children under the age of 15. Fifteen million children have lost one or both parents to the disease.
“Children are the missing face of AIDS, but what is still missing is a global recognition of the impact of AIDS on children’s lives,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.
‘The least bad year’
The UNAIDS report tracks the progress of a strategy that was put in place in 2001, when a UN Declaration of Commitment established specific goals for improving the global AIDS response. The report notes that a number of significant challenges remain, including improved planning, sustained leadership and reliable long-term funding. But overall, the strategy seems to be paying off.
“This is the least bad year in the history of AIDS,” said Dr. Piot.
Still, an estimated 40 million people are living with HIV and AIDS worldwide, with 11,000 newly infected and 8,000 dying from the disease each day. In regions such as Southern Africa and Eastern Europe, rates of infection continue to increase.
But the UNAIDS report stresses that the global response may be reaching critical mass.
“The actions we take from here are particularly important, as we know with increasing certainly where and how HIV is moving, as well as how to slow the epidemic and reduce its impact,” said Dr. Piot.
World leaders will review progress on the AIDS response this week at the United Nations General Assembly 2006 High Level Meeting on AIDS.
2006 High Level Meeting on AIDS
5 June 2006:
UN urges a stronger response to AIDS, the ‘greatest challenge of our generation’ [with video]
2 June 2006:
UN partners cap high-level AIDS meeting with night of remembrance [with video]
1 June 2006:
Campaign partners urge universal access to treatment [with video]
31 May 2006:
UN leadership charts ‘a way forward’ [with video]
30 May 2006:
UNAIDS report: AIDS slowing globally but increasing in some regions [with video]
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