UN convenes special session on HIV/AIDS

Windhoek- Namibia (PANA) -- The UN General Assembly will on Thursday convene a special session on HIV/AIDS in New York, USA.
According to UNAIDS, the session will be a testament to the collective will of nations world-wide to join in redoubling their efforts against the epidemic which has devastated the world in the past two decades.
The special session will be setting out some of the key elements for effective responses, based on the global experience in tackling the epidemic.
"The epidemic has shown humanity at both its worst and its best.
Denial, blind panic and victim blaming have been among the worst responses.
"But gradually, courage, creativity, care and new reserves of compassion have come to the fore," UNAIDS said, adding that this collective humanitarian effort meant that the world now knows what it will take to turn the epidemic around.
According to a UNAIDS report, sub-Saharan Africa remains by far the worst affected and the most poorly resourced region in the world.
More than 25 million Africans are living with HIV and a further 17 million people have already died of AIDS, three times the number of AIDS deaths in the rest of the world.
The death toll claimed by the epidemic in the year 2000 was 10 times that of the region's wars and civil conflicts, the report said.
The report added that the virus spreads mainly - but not only - through heterosexual intercourse in all social groups.
Women's physiological, social and economic vulnerability, however, contributed to their higher rates of infection in this region, it added.

21 june 2001 07:31:00




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