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UN: Progress Being Made on Combating HIV/AIDS
Date:Thursday, September 23, 2010
Some countries with the largest epidemics - including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria - are leading the drop in HIV infections in Africa, UN officials say. Through Wednesday, UN member nations are meeting in New York to assess progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. For HIV, the goal is halting and reversing the epidemic.
"For the first time we have a reduction [in new infections] by 25 percent in the 22 most affected and infected countries in Africa," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS. This proves that prevention efforts are working across all levels of society, he said.
To continue that progress, "It will take resources and that is a very difficult issue these days given the crisis, given the budget constraints for donors," said Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. "From a Global Fund perspective, we have talked to the donors and said for the next three years, we would need somewhere between $13 [billion] and $20 billion."
"You cannot really separate AIDS from sexual and reproductive health or maternal health," said Kazatchkine, referring to other MDGs. "Over 50 percent of deaths in women between the ages of 15-49 in Africa are from AIDS."
Voice of America News (09.21.10)::Margaret Besheer