UNAIDS: Gaps Persist in Access to HIV Services Worldwide
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon warns that unless greater efforts to combat AIDS are taken, prevention and care targets set for 2015 won't be met, according to a Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) statement. In adopting the 2011 Political Declaration on AIDS, U.N. member states agreed to collectively invest $22 billion to $24 billion each year toward meeting a number of benchmarks by 2015, including delivering antiretroviral treatment to 15 million people, halving HIV transmission rates and eliminating new HIV cases among children. The report indicates that an additional $8 billion must be made available by 2015 if the numbers are to be met. In addition, prevention programs must be smarter—they need to be based on science rather than ideology, integrated into larger health care programs, and directed toward eliminating HIV stigma and discrimination against women, drug users and other minority groups.