UN calls for greater commitment to tackle AIDS
United Nations: UN officials warned that despite significant efforts, the AIDS epidemic is far from being totally wiped out and urged more investment and innovation was required to end the global epidemic.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday told the UN General Assembly's annual meeting on review of progress in tackling AIDS that the number of people accessing HIV treatment globally increased nearly 20 percent between 2011 and 2012 alone, Xinhua reported.
In his latest report on the issue, Ban outlined progress achieved in the 10 target areas designed to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS by the end of 2015, as it was set out three years ago by world leaders in the 2011 Political Declaration.
He said that the world is making "solid headway" in meeting some of the targets and commitments from the declaration, such as expanding treatment access, eliminating HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive, and mobilising resources.
"We have the tools, the science and the knowledge to end AIDS once and for all. But we cannot let confidence turn to complacency, " he stated.
"Progress remains uneven," Ban warned, noting that two out of three children who need treatment do not get it, death rates among adolescents are increasing, and epidemics in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa are getting worse.
Also, progress is lagging on targets such as reducing sexual transmission by 50 percent and among people who inject drugs.
Stigma, discrimination and criminalisation of people who are the most vulnerable to HIV are also getting worse in parts of the world, he added.
The number of new HIV infections is still unacceptably high, at 2.3 million in 2012.