World AIDS Day Approaches, UN and White House Report on Strides

By Jim Allen, Editor NuVote Reach and Examiner.comImage

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A primary focus of United Nations (UN) World AIDS Day this year, observed every year on December 1, continues to be the “Getting to Zero” by 2015 campaign, initiated in 2011 – meaning zero AIDs-related deaths, zero new infections and zero discrimination. A new report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) indicates positive returns from the significantly stepped-up global response to AIDS, although disturbing statistics still persist. In observance of World AIDS Day, the White House Thursday published details of the United States’ (US) global HIV/AIDS strategy going forward.

The UN report shows 81 countries increased their investment in the fight against HIV/AIDS by 50% and that a more than 50% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections has been achieved in 25 low- and middle-income countries – more than half in Africa, the region most affected by HIV.

The most progress is being made in reducing new HIV infections in children. Half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborns.

Of the 34 million people globally living with HIV in 2011, about half do not know their HIV status. The report states that if more people knew their status, they could come forward for HIV services.

Also in 2011, 2.5 people globally were newly infected with HIV and 1.7 people died from AIDS-related illness.

The report shows an estimated 6.8 million people in the world need treatment and are not receiving adequate care and an additional 4 million discordant couples (where one partner is living with HIV) would benefit from HIV treatment to protect their partners from HIV infection.

HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on sex workers, men who have sex with men and unregulated intravenous drug users. HIV prevention and treatment programs are mostly failing to reach these key populations.

“When discrimination, stigma, and other factors drive these groups into the shadows, the epidemic becomes that much harder to fight. That’s why we are supporting country-led plans to expand services for key populations, and bolstering the efforts of civil society groups to reach out to them,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the State Department on Thursday in a speech in observance of World AIDS Day.

The White House Thursday released a statement from the president in observance of World AIDS Day in which he pointed up the US stake in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Today, I am pleased my Administration will make public new data that demonstrates we are on track to meet the ambitious treatment and prevention targets I announced on World AIDS Day a year ago.  As of today, we are treating over 5 million people with lifesaving medicines for AIDS, up from 1.7 million in 2008,” said President Barack Obama.

Secretary Clinton used the occasion at the State Department on Thursday to unveil the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation”– a five-point roadmap for how the US government intends to wage its global battle against HIV/AIDS.

  • Make strategic, scientifically sound investments to rapidly scale-up core HIV prevention, treatment and care interventions and maximize impact.
  • Work with partner countries, donor nations, civil society, people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, the private sector, foundations and multilateral institutions to effectively mobilize, coordinate and efficiently utilize resources to expand high-impact strategies, saving more lives sooner.
  • Focus on women and girls to increase gender equality in HIV services.
  • End stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and key populations, improving their access to, and uptake of, comprehensive HIV services.
  • Set benchmarks for outcomes and programmatic efficiencies through regularly assessed planning and reporting processes to ensure goals are being met.

“…as I pledged last year, we are on track to treat 6 million people by the end of 2013.  This year, we have also reached over 700,000 HIV-positive pregnant women with antiretroviral drugs that will prevent them from passing the virus to their children,” said the president.

“As we continue this important work with our partners around the world and here at home, let us remember the lives we have lost to AIDS, celebrate the progress we have made, and, together, recommit to ourselves to achieving our shared vision of an AIDS-free generation,” concluded the president in his written statement.

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Note: PEPFAR Blueprint Summary: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/11/201195.htm

About Jim Allen, Founder/Editor, NuVote Reach

Currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Alejo Media, emerging as one of Washington, D.C.’s most artistic and innovative video production and post-production media companies. Previously, as Director of News and Media Services at the American Institute of Physics, he led the creation of the InsideScience.org news platform, which includes Inside Science TV. He also previously served as Media Director, Energy NOW! and Clean Skies TV and as Special Reports Editor/Media Relations Director at The Hill newspaper. Jim has served in various executive, business development and/or programming roles for a number of media concerns including CBS Radio/Television, Radio One Inc. and the Los Angeles Times. Since 1995, he has been a contributor to the Reporters Notebook news roundtable program on NBC 4 TV, DC. He earned a music scholarship to Delaware State University, a Bachelor of Arts in English/Television Production at Virginia State University and, from 2003-2007, attended Concord University School of Law. His commendations include the Washington, DC Teachers' Union Media Relations Award and shared an American Academy of Nursing National Media Award. Jim also chairs a development task force for the faith-based, non-profit House of Help/City of Hope, founded and led by Bishop Dr. Shirley Holloway, which has provided substance abuse, mental health and continuing education programs and transitional housing for tens of thousands of homeless (and battered) women, families and men (including ex-offenders) at its shelter and treatment facilities in Washington, DC and Prince George’s and Charles Counties, MD.
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One Response to World AIDS Day Approaches, UN and White House Report on Strides

  1. M C Fox says:

    It may be interesting when the coward’s background comes to light. When I was a youth it was common to throw your rifle in the trunk and hunt before or after school. Society was quite different. I tend to think inanimate objects are not the problem. Single parent families and multi-generation welfare families are the norm. Hollywood and online gamer companies perpetuate violence for profit then blame the violence in society on others. We have a failed, government sponsored drug war that briings violence to our door fronts. The CIA brought crack cocaine to East LA for God’s sake. Our government glorifies remote control (drone) killing. What we experienced probably happens every week in Afghanistan due to a botched drone strike. But remote collateral splat is acceptable. The two party system is a failure, our government commits wholesale torture and murder and now it is officially ok to target children with drone strikes.
    More gun control? Who will defend you? A governent that creates Tuesday morning kill lists that includes Americans and denies habeas corpus and representation? Turn your swords into plowshares and you end up plowing for the other guy.
    The more I see around me, the more I like Panarchism.

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