Seizing the opportunity: Ending AIDS
in the Middle East and North Africa
With its concentrated HIV epidemic, the Middle East and North Africa has the advantage of a relatively low HIV burden among the general population, as well as among children and adolescents. To respond to the issues posed by HIV in the region, considerable efforts have been invested at the local, national and regional levels. Furthermore, country leaders throughout MENA have committed to the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG3.3, which calls for ending AIDS by 2030.
Yet, many problems remain – particularly those related to children and adolescents, such as relatively high rates of mother-to-child transmission and low rates of early infant diagnosis. Produced jointly by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Health Organization (WHO), “Seizing the Opportunity: Ending AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa” highlights the main challenges the region faces today, offers insights into how these may be addressed and contributes to our understanding of the unique characteristics of the regional HIV/AIDS epidemic. One of the central arguments the report makes is that today the Middle East and North Africa region is presented with a unique opportunity to end the AIDS epidemic – and doing so is an achievable goal, provided countries act with the required urgency, will and commitment.
This report is a result of close collaboration between the three UN agencies and the members of the core report team at UNICEF MENARO are grateful for the support from UNAIDS and WHO.