Fact sheets


Nineteen fact sheets prepared especially for the Special Session by UNAIDS and its cosponsors are included in this single file. Each fact sheet is also available individually below.

 

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The Secretary-General's global call to action against HIV/AIDS
Calling the battle against AIDS one of his personal priorities, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has embarked on a campaign to spur a large-scale mobilization of political commitment and funding. In three major speeches - in Abuja on 26 April, in Philadelphia on 30 April, and in Geneva on 17 May - the Secretary-General laid out the essential elements for a global strategy to defeat HIV/AIDS.

 

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A global AIDS and health fund
A multi-billion-dollar investment in the battle against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria will save millions of people. Those already hit by these diseases would be able to live longer and healthier lives. Even the worst affected countries could be able to regain the ground lost in their fight against poverty and inequality.

 

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Calculating the cost of an effective global campaign against HIV/AIDS
A vastly expanded global response is needed to strengthen and sustain prevention and care programmes that can reverse the destructive tide of HIV/AIDS.

 

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An overview of the AIDS epidemic
Since the first clinical evidence of AIDS was reported two decades ago, HIV/AIDS has spread to every corner of the world. Still rapidly growing, the epidemic is reversing development gains, robbing millions of their lives, widening the gap between rich and poor, and undermining social and economic security.

 

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HIV/AIDS and development
By killing so many people in the prime of their lives, AIDS poses a serious threat to development. By reducing growth, weakening governance, destroying human capital, discouraging investment and eroding productivity, AIDS undermines countries' efforts to reduce poverty and improve living standards.

 

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AIDS as a security issue
Globally, HIV/AIDS has emerged as a threat to both human and national security-so much so that it has become a concern for the United Nations Security Council.

 

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HIV/AIDS, food security and rural development
Growing links between rural and urban areas through improved transport networks, trade and migration have caused HIV prevalence rates to rise rapidly in rural areas-where AIDS is becoming an even greater threat than in cities of the developing world.

 

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HIV/AIDS - a governance challenge
HIV/AIDS sets in motion a vicious cycle. By killing people in their most productive years, it increases poverty, reverses progress in education, lowers labour productivity, threatens food security and slows economic growth. Those setbacks, in turn, fuel the epidemic and undermine prevention and treatment efforts.

 

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HIV/AIDS care and support
Important initiatives are underway to bring life-prolonging drugs and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS. But access to drugs is only one of the many things that people with HIV infection need if they are to live healthy, productive lives.

 

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Preventing HIV/AIDS
Preventing HIV infections remains an essential, first line of defence against the AIDS epidemic. Two decades of experience-in countries as different as Brazil, Thailand and Uganda-have proved that determined prevention efforts do work and that they are most effective when they involve communities and are combined with strong care and support programmes.

 

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Preventing HIV/AIDS among young people
Young people are at the centre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their behaviour, the extent to which their rights are protected, and the services and information they receive determine the quality of life of millions of people. Young people are particularly susceptible to HIV infection and they also carry the burden of caring for family members living with HIV/AIDS. Around the world, AIDS is shattering young people's opportunities for healthy adult lives. Nevertheless, it is young people who offer the greatest hope for changing the course of the epidemic.

 

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AIDS education - a battle against ignorance
Many of the 36.1 million people infected with HIV do not know they are carrying the virus. Nor do they know much about the disease. Education could have helped them avoid acquiring the virus. Education is a vital step towards halting the epidemic and overcoming the prejudice and fear faced by people living with HIV/AIDS.

 

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Drug use and HIV/AIDS
As the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to spread, its association with drug use is becoming more apparent. But, in many countries, that potentially deadly link is still being ignored.

 

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Gender and HIV/AIDS
Gender roles and relations powerfully influence the course and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Gender-related factors shape the extent to which men, women, boys and girls are vulnerable to HIV infection, the ways in which AIDS affects them, and the kinds of responses that are feasible in different communities and societies.

 

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World AIDS Campaign 2001
"I care ...do you?" is the slogan of the World AIDS Campaign 2001. In line with the 'Men Make a Difference' theme of 2000, the Campaign spotlights the many ways in which men contribute to the AIDS epidemic and the powerful roles they can also play in tackling it. As the slogan implies, this year's campaign challenges men everywhere to make a difference in the struggle against AIDS.

 

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Mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The transmission of HIV from mother to child is responsible for over 90% of infections among children under the age of 15. The effects are dramatic. AIDS is beginning to reverse decades of steady progress in child survival. But effective and feasible interventions to reduce mother-to-child transmission are now available and could save the lives of 300,000 children each year.

 

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Orphans and children in a world of AIDS
The AIDS epidemic has orphaned millions of children. Even if prevention campaigns become hugely successful and HIV infections drop dramatically, most people already infected with HIV are expected to succumb to AIDS-related illnesses. Millions more children will lose one or both parents over the next ten years.

 

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The search for an HIV vaccine
Soon after the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1983, some health officials were predicting that a vaccine would be developed within a couple of years. The search has proven to be much more difficult than anticipated, but scientists are confident that an HIV vaccine will be discovered.

 

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HIV/AIDS and the world of work
Most of the 36.1 million people infected with HIV are in the prime of their working lives. The effects are momentous-not just on workers and their families, but on enterprises and entire national and regional economies. AIDS has become a crucial workplace issue and a massive development challenge.

 

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The International Partnership against AIDS in Africa
The United Nations Secretary-General's priorities for the global response to HIV/AIDS build on the efforts of the past two decades to overcome the epidemic. Among them is the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa (IPAA)-a coalition that works under the leadership of African governments and harnesses the resources of the United Nations, donors, and the private and community sectors.

 

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What is UNAIDS?
Almost 20 years of struggle against AIDS have underlined the need for the concerted, focused efforts of a wide range of actors. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS-UNAIDS-was created in 1996 to help meet that challenge.

 

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The United Nations at Work: the fight against AIDS
The United Nations has supported a wide range of activities and initiatives around the world in its battle against HIV and AIDS. The creation of a coherent and effective long-term campaign against the epidemic has been given new impetus by the UN Secretary-General's call to action against HIV/AIDS and the proposed global fund on AIDS and health. The following are a few examples of the UN's work to broaden partnerships, encourage prevention, promote care and treatment, mobilize resources, and grapple with issues of AIDS and food security, human rights, and workplace policies.

 

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The Cosponsors of UNAIDS
The United Nations has been at the forefront of the struggle against HIV/AIDS for almost two decades. In 1986, it was one of its agencies that took the lead in helping countries set up national programmes to combat the epidemic. Since then, the UN's activities have multiplied around the globe.

 

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HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean (February 2001)

 

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HIV/AIDS in Africa (December 2000)

 

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HIV/AIDS in Asia (December 2000)

 

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HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean (December 2000)

 

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HIV/AIDS in the newly independent states (December 2000)

 


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