26 August : According to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 2008 report, HIV infections have declined from 3 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2007. But rates of new HIV infections are rising in China, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Vietnam and HIV incidence is increasing in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2008 report on the Global AIDS Epidemic released during the 6-day world’s largest International AIDS Conference held in Mexico City August 3 – 8, 2008. revealed that the global AIDS epidemic has leveled off in terms of the percentage of people infected (prevalence) but the number of people living with HIV has increased to 33 million globally with nearly 7,500 new infections each day. The report said 3 million people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment in low-and middle income countries. The report said some 105 countries have set goals and targets to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.
The world’s largest AIDS meeting, held every two years was addressed among others by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Health Organisation, Director General, Margaret Chan. The conference attended by more than 25,000 scientist, advocates and community and political leaders called for universal action now saying ‘AIDS is the most complex, the most challenging and probably the most devastating infectious disease humanity has ever had to face’. The conference also emphasized the need for continued urgency and action on the part of all involved in the worldwide response to HIV/AIDS.