World Leaders Set Bold HIV Goals

HIV reduction a priority of the United Nations Assembly

(RxWiki News) World leaders have set high targets for the reduction of AIDS and HIV following the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS, which recently concluded in New York.

Participating countries agreed to further efforts to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV and also reduce by half the number of people who contract HIV through drug injection by 2015.

"There are about 7,000 new cases of HIV each day."

They pledged to move toward eliminating new HIV infections among children within the next five years, to increase the number of individuals on life saving treatment to 15 million and to work to reduce tuberculosis deaths in those living with HIV by half.

Joseph Deiss, president of the United Nations General Assembly said that HIV remains "one of the most formidable challenges of our time" and that UN member states are committed to working toward a world without AIDS.

The bold targets were introduced at a time when international assistance for the AIDS response has declined for the first time since 2001. Member States approved an increase in AIDS-related spending to between $22 billion and $24 billion in low- and middle-income countries by 2015.

The goals were introduced with the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: Intensifying our Efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS, which notes that HIV prevention strategies inadequately focus on populations at higher risk, especially men who have sex with other men, IV drug users and sex workers. The declaration instead asked that countries focus response based on epidemiological and national contexts.

It also calls for member states to redouble their efforts to get universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2015, and pledges to eliminate gender inequality and gender based abuse and violence. It includes a call for expanded access to male and female condoms and sterile injecting equipment.

Member states also will review laws and policies that adversely impact the successful and equitable delivery of HIV prevention, treatment and care for people with HIV.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 15, 2011