More people in developing countries access HIV/AIDS services, says UN

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Significant progress has been made in several low- and middle-income countries in increasing access to HIV/AIDS services, according to a new report released by UN agencies.
The report, "Towards Universal Access by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)" is the fourth annual report for tracking progress made in achieving the 2010 target of providing universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.
It was released in Washington, Nairobi and Geneva.
The report assessed HIV/AIDS progress in 144 low- and middle-income countries in 2009 and made the following observation: Fifteen countries, including Botswana, Guyana and South Africa, were able to provide more than 80 per cent of HIV-positive pregnant women in need, the services and medicines to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
Fourteen countries, including Brazil, Namibia and Ukraine, provided HIV treatment to more than 80 per cent of the HIV-positive children in need.
Eight countries, including Cambodia, Cuba and Rwanda, have achieved universal access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) for adults.
"Countries in all parts of the world are demonstrating that universal access is achievable," said Dr Hiroki Nakatani, WHO's Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, adding "but globally, it remains an unfulfilled commitment.
And we must join forces to make it a worldwide reality in the coming years.
" Remarkable progress in Eastern and Southern Africa, the region most severely affected by HIV, offers hope.
In this region, HIV treatment coverage has increased from 32 per cent to 41 per cent in one year.
Half of the pregnant women were able to access HIV testing and counseling in 2009.
“We’re on the right track, we’ve shown what works and now we need to do more of it,” said Dr.
Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director, Programme, UNAIDS.
“But we’re US$10 billion short.
At the Global Fund replenishment conference in New York next week, countries have a chance to put this right - to make a smart investment and secure the future of the AIDS response.
” In 2009, 5.
25 million people had access to HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries, accounting for 36 per cent of those in need.
This represents an increase of over 1.
2 million people from December 2008, the largest increase in any single year .
In sub-Saharan Africa, close to one million more people started on ART, the number increasing from 2.
95 million at the end of 2008 to 3.
91 million at the end of 2009, covering 37 per cent of those in need.
Latin America and the Caribbean region reached 50 per cent coverage for ART, East, South and South-East Asia–31 per cent, Europe and Central Asia–19 per cent and North Africa and the Middle East–11 per cent.

01 october 2010 18:47:00

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