The fight against HIV and AIDS is at a critical crossroads—we have never before had the medical and scientific knowledge that we do now, and the infrastructure to get these developments out where they are most needed.
- Breda Gahan, Concern Worldwide Global HIV & AIDS Program Advisor
While the overall number of people newly infected by HIV and AIDS is continuing to decline globally, in sub-Saharan Africa, one in every 20 adults are still living with HIV.
HIV and AIDS: A Global Perspective
The global response to HIV and AIDS is expanding and in 2012, 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries had access to antiretroviral treatment, nearly a 20 percent increase over the eight million reached in 2011. A 2012 report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that the AIDS epidemic is beginning to change course as the number of people newly infected with HIV is declining and AIDS-related deaths are decreasing. However, every minute a young woman is newly infected with HIV.
Over 34 million people are living with HIV, and seven million people still do not have access to treatment (UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2010). There were over 2.5 million new HIV infections in 2011, and while cases have been reported in all regions of the world, almost all those living with HIV (97 percent) reside in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nearly three million people living with HIV and AIDS are below 15 years of age.
UNAIDS Publications | Concern's HIV and AIDS Strategy |
The Impact of Extreme Poverty on HIV and AIDS
The spread and impact of HIV and AIDS is likely to continue to threaten global poverty reduction and development efforts over the coming decade.
Extreme poverty, inequality, especially gender inequality and gender-based violence, injustice, namely low access to treatment services and human rights violations often associated with stigma and discrimination, are still the main drivers of the global HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Biological factors, lack of access to information and health services, economic vulnerability and unequal power in sexual relations expose young women particularly to HIV infection.
The AIDS epidemic is still outpacing the global response and the impact is greatest in poorest countries where life expectancy is often decreasing and under-five mortality is increasing.
"We must move from treating millions with disease to giving billions the opportunity to live healthy lives. The HIV response can help to build stronger, integrated health care systems that respond to broad needs across society…Let us press forward now so that we can realize an AIDS-free world."
-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
Remarks to General Assembly on Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declarations on HIV/AIDS. June 10, 2013
How Concern is Meeting the Challenge
The aim of Concern's HIV and AIDS Program is to reduce HIV incidence and to minimize the impact of HIV and AIDS among people living in extreme poverty.
Particular emphasis is on four program goals: stigma and prevention; care and treatment support; nutrition and livelihood security interventions; and responding to HIV and AIDS in emergencies.
Concern works directly with people infected with - and affected by - HIV and AIDS in the world's poorest countries. In 2012, our HIV and AIDS program reached 144,489 people directly, and 711,964 people indirectly. An important part of this work involves providing training and education for people living with HIV and AIDS in the belief that treatment is only the beginning, and that they must have the tools to live long, happy and productive lives.
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