Senegal: Youth leader says battle against HIV/AIDS far from over

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – Gabriel Adeyemo, a youth leader from Nigeria, has said that despite the significant progress made in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, the battle is, however, far from over.

He was reacting to youth commitment in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic at the ongoing  fourth Pan-African Summit of Youth Leaders of the United Nations currently underway in Dakar, Senegal.

''Although significant progress has been made during the past 30 years, there are still more than 3,000 young people (aged 15–24) newly infected with HIV each day,'' Adeyemo said adding: ''according to UNAIDS estimates, young people accounted for 42% of all new HIV infections among adults (aged 15–49) in 2010.''

Adeyemo also pointed out that some five million young people worldwide are estimated to be living with HIV.

''Many who are eligible for treatment lack access or do not even know their status. A generation of young people born with HIV is growing up with specific sexual and reproductive health needs that are largely ignored,'' he added.

He pointed out that in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in June 2011, world leaders set bold new targets for the AIDS response to be reached by 2015.

These, he continued, included reducing sexual transmission of HIV by 50%, providing treatment for 15 million people living with HIV, and eliminating stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV.

''When we talk about ending the AIDS epidemic through 'Getting to Zero', it is important for us to remember where we started. We cannot forget how HIV/AIDS came close to destroying the African society just a little over a decade ago,'' he noted.

''Teachers, nurses and soldiers were dying everyday. Adolescent and youths are being orphaned at astonishing rates. Life expectancy in some countries was dipping into the 40s. All of these made our viewpoint a single vision today,'' Adeyemo added.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 15Jan2014

15 january 2014 18:21:13




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