AIDS is the leading cause of death globally in women of reproductive age (WHO 2010) and AIDS has become the leading cause of death among infants and young children in much of sub-Saharan Africa (UNAIDS).
HIV and AIDS: A Global Perspective
The global response to HIV and AIDS is expanding and in 2009, 5.2 million people in low- and middle-income countries had access to antiretroviral treatment, up from 700,000 in 2004. A report by the Joint United Nations Programme 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, there are still two new HIV infections for every one person starting HIV treatment.
Some 33.3 million people are living with HIV, and ten million people still do not have access to treatment (UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2010). There were over 7,000 new HIV infections a day in 2009 and about 97 percent are in low and middle income countries.
About 1,000 are in children under 15 years of age.
UNAIDS Publications | Concern's HIV and AIDS Strategy | Community Conversations fighting HIV and AIDS in Ethiopia |
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.
Members of a Concern-supported Community Conversations group in Grara village, southwestern Ethiopia discuss the impact of HIV and AIDS on their community and talk about ways to improve life for community members living with HIV.
Extreme poverty, inequality, especially gender inequality and gender based violence, injustice in terms of 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.
"Halting the spread is not only a Millennium Development Goal in itself; it is a prerequisite for reaching most of the others" - Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General in New York at a UNGASS Progress Meeting (June 2005).
How Concern is Meeting the Challenge
The aim of Concern's HIV and AIDS Program is to reduce HIV incidence and to minimise 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 2011, our HIV and AIDS program reached 251,385 people directly, and 1,181,417 people indirectly. An important part of this work involves providing training and education for people with HIV.
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