World AIDS Day: UNDP restates commitment to HIV/AIDS fight

New York- US (PANA) -- The UN Development Programme (UNDP), a key actor in the gl obal efforts to stem HIV/AIDS, has restated its commitment to supporting countries and communities in their fig ht against the pandemic ''With just six years left to reach the 2015 target date for achieving the Mille nnium Development Goals, we have learned that effective action on HIV/AIDS is essential to the human rights based and broader developmen t agenda.
UNDP is committed to supporting countries and communities in these efforts, said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, in her me ssage to mark the World AIDS Day Tuesday.
UNDP plays a leading role in the global response to HIV/AIDS as a co-sponsor of UNAIDS and as a major partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
It also supports policies, programmes, and learning to link action against HIV/A IDS with action on other health, development, and human rights priorities.
These include the promotion of gender equality, the fight against po verty, and responses to maternal mortality and infectious diseases.
UNDP also supports the wider UN systemâ?s co-ordinated response to the epidemic and organises the annual â~Red Ribbon Awardsâ? on behalf of UNAIDS to honor and support communities at the frontline of the response to the epidemic.
''The most significant successes in the response to HIV/AIDS have used human rig hts based programming to translate good public health practice and scientific innovation into real results for people and communities,'' the UNDP A dministrator said.
''This has facilitated the effective participation of marginalised and vulnerabl e populations in responses to the epidemic, and has driven the global campaign to lower the prices of key drugs and prevention technologies.
''Unfortunately, success is uneven across regions, countries, and populations.
F ar too often, prevention programmes are still not reaching those most in need.
For every two people put on treatment, five are newly infected.
Too little is being done in too many places to empower girls and women.
Stigmatizing homosexuals and refusing to provide harm reduction services for drug users also sets back prevention and treatment work,'' she added.
The UNDP official also noted that the economic crisis of 2009 had resulted in cu ts to treatment programmes, which have been keeping people alive, saving children from being orphaned, and keeping workforces productive and vibra nt.
Data released by UNAIDS this week in its 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update suggests that new HIV infections around the world have been reduced by 17% since the 2001 signature of the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/ AIDS.
Over the past five years, there have also been significant successes in increasi ng access to life saving treatment, with over four million people in developing countries now accessing necessary medication and approximately 2.
9 million lives already saved.
The theme of this year's observance is: "Universal access and human rights".

01 december 2009 14:19:00




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