Twenty five years after AIDS was first recognised, efforts to fight the disease are still inadequate, according to a new United Nations report. It says many initiatives to tackle the pandemic, which has killed 25 million worldwide, have failed to meet targets set by the UN five years ago.“We need to continue to be vigilant and to redouble our efforts, particularly with young people and of course also press for the protection of women,” said Secretary-General Kofi Annan following the report’s release. Overall infection rates appear to have peaked in the late 1990’s and have since stabilised, the report says. But new fronts have emerged in the battle against HIV-AIDS. “The region of sub-Saharan Africa remains the most affected region in the world,” said Dr Peter Ghys, manager of epidemic monitoring and prevention policy at UNAIDS. “Outside Africa there are other regions where it is recognised that the epidemic is still expanding. This is the case for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and it is also true for several countries in East Asia.” Meanwhile in New York, final preparations were being made for today’s UN General Assembly special session on the pandemic. The UN wants to rise annual funding for treatment and prevention to 15 billion euros by 2010.
Report says HIV infections may have stabilised