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Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases: MDG 6


  • Globally, nearly 23 per cent of all people living with HIV are under the age of 25. And young people (aged 15 to 24) account for 41 per cent of new infections among those aged 15 or older.
  • In 2009, an estimated 2.6 million people were newly infected with HIV. This represents a drop of 21 per cent since 1997, the year in which new infections peaked.
  • In 2009, 33.3 million people were living with the virus—a 27 per cent increase over 1999. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most heavily affected region, accounting for 69 per cent of new HIV infections, 68 per cent of all people living with HIV and 72 per cent of AIDS deaths.
  • The number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV or AIDS increased 13-fold from 2004 to 2009. As a result, the number of AIDS-related deaths declined by 19 per cent over the same period. Although new infections are waning, the number of people living with HIV has grown.
  • Globally, in 2009, about 16.6 million children were estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDS, up from 14.6 million in 2005; 14.8 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • An estimated 53 per cent of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral medicines in 2009, up from 45 per cent in 2008. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to about 91 per cent of the 1.4 million pregnant women who are in need of treatment.
  • Globally, deaths from malaria are down by an estimated 20 per cent—from nearly 985,000 in 2000 to 781,000 in 2009.

The number of new HIV infections fell steadily from a peak of 3.5 million in 1996 to 2.7 million in 2008. Although the epidemic appears to have stabilized in most regions, new HIV infections are on the rise in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Globally, the number of people living with HIV is continuing to increase because of the combined effect of new HIV infections and the beneficial impact of antiretroviral therapy. There are 17.5 million children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, with over 80 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa.


In 2009, the Council held its Annual Ministerial Review on the theme of global public health. Ministers from 7 countries ―  Bolivia, China, Jamaica, Japan, Mali, Sri Lanka, Sudan ― delivered “National Voluntary Presentations”, which detailed their countries’ recent efforts to improve public health (including child health), while offering case studies on successful initiatives. Countries also adopted a strong “Ministerial Declaration”, highlighting key policies to promote healthier societies.

UN System

  • The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN System organizations to assist countries with technical support in the implementation of their national AIDS plans.
  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNAIDS have helped countries scale up programmes for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, through, among others, training, guidance and technical support to access Global Fund resources.
  • The UN Development Programme (UNDP) provides regular support to nearly 36,000 people in Burkina Faso living with HIV. Patients receive home visits, meals and assistance to set up small-scale enterprises. Three million people have also been engaged in prevention activities over the last five years.
  • In Viet Nam, UNFPA is supporting an initiative by the Ministry of Education and Training to empower secondary school students to protect themselves against HIV infection through a nationwide integrated reproductive health and HIV prevention curriculum.
  • The UN Foundation’s “Nothing but Nets” campaign ― in partnership with the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, the Canadian Red Cross, WHO and UNICEF, among others ― distributed 2.8 million insecticide-treated bed nets in Mali, covering 95 per cent of all children under five.
  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in partnership with UNAIDS and UNDP, has developed a Handbook on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights for national human rights institutions.
  • The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) leads the “Global Initiative on Education and HIV & AIDS” (EDUCAIDS), which helps countries plan and implement comprehensive educational responses to the disease.

Further reading…