A global report on the worldwide AIDS epidemic for 2013 has been released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the outlook is hopeful. Since 2001, there has been a 52% reduction in new HIV infections in children and a 33% reduction in adults. As access to anti-viral treatment expands, deaths that are AIDS-related have also dropped by 30% since their peak in 2005. In 2012, they estimated that 35.3 million people were living with HIV around the world and 9.7 million people had access to anti-retroviral therapy. Their target is to get 15 million sufferers on HIV treatment by 2015.
UNAIDS is a comprehensive program put together by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1996 dedicated to the mission of coordinating a global initiative to prevent the spread of HIV and eradicate the AIDS epidemic. Their 2011-2015 strategy dubbed Getting to Zero calls for zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination by 2015. According to their 2013 report, they are on their way to achieving these goals. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, says in the report’s forward that, despite ongoing challenges, these goals remain achievable “if we recognize our shared responsibility for the AIDS response and put into practice the many lessons we have learned.”
The organization is working as part of a UN initiative established in 2000 called Millennium Development Goals. Combating HIV/AIDSs and other diseases is number six out of eight outlined goals for the global community with a 2015 deadline. Others include eradicating extreme poverty, promoting gender equality, and achieving universal primary education.
Written By: Danyelle C. Overbo
UNAIDS 2013 Report