MDGs: Tracking progress on MDG six
NAIROBI, 21 September 2010 (PlusNews) - Significant strides have been made in the global fight against HIV, but major gaps remain that could prevent many countries from achieving UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) six relating to HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Access to treatment - More than five million people currently have access to life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs, a 12-fold increase over the past six years. However, this still represents just one third of people who need HIV treatment. In 2008, 38 percent of the 730,000 children estimated to need antiretrovirals (ARVs) in low- and middle-income countries had access to them. UNAIDS is calling for the implementation of a new treatment approach called "Treatment 2.0", to drastically scale up testing and treatment; it estimates that successful implementation of "Treatment 2.0" could avert 10 million deaths by 2025, and reduce new infections by a third.
New infections - Twenty-two of the worst affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa have reduced HIV incidence by more than 25 percent in the last eight years, according to UNAIDS. Some of the best performers in reducing new infections are Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe; HIV incidence is on the rise in Uganda, once a leader in the fight against HIV. Eastern Europe and Central Asia remain the only regions where incidence is increasing.
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission - According to the UN World Health Organization's (WHO) 2009 report, Towards Universal Access, the 20 countries with the highest burden of HIV among pregnant women have scaled up HIV counseling and testing to at least 75 percent of their antenatal care facilities.
Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia are among the countries that provided HIV testing to 60-80 percent of pregnant women, while Botswana, Namibia and São Tomé and Principe exceeded the 80 percent mark.