As the United Nations warns of a growing HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia –
former US President Bill Clinton is calling on AIDS organisations to deliver their services more efficiently.
On the second day of the biannual International Aids conference in Vienna, Clinton said, despite the global recession, healthcare should be a right for everyone: “Not withstanding the current economic difficulties, the evidence of the progress that has been made in the past few years is not an excuse to walk away from that right. It is an excuse to run toward it for all of us.”
Between 2008 and 2009 figures show a 1.2 million increase in the number of people receiving treatment for AIDS worldwide.
But the UN children’s fund UNICEF says the crisis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has been fuelled by drug use and sexual promiscuity and warns that health and social services in the region do little for young people there who are instead subject to judgment, recrimination and even prosecution if they seek treatment or information on HIV.