Greater and more effective
and care efforts need to be brought to bear. During the year 2001, the resolve to do so became stronger than ever.
History was made when the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001 set in place a framework for national and international accountability in the struggle against the epidemic. Each government pledged to pursue a series of many benchmark targets relating to prevention, care, support and treatment, impact alleviation, and children orphaned and made vulnerable by
, as part of a comprehensive
response. These targets include the following:
infection among 15‚24-year-olds by 25% in the most affected countries by 2005 and, globally, by 2010;
By 2005, to reduce the proportion of infants infected with
by 20%, and by 50% by 2010;
By 2003, to develop national strategies to strengthen health-care systems and address factors affecting the provision of
-related drugs, including affordability and pricing. Also, to urgently make every effort to provide the highest attainable standard of
, including antiretroviral therapy in a careful and monitored manner to reduce the risk of developing resistance;
By 2003, to develop and, by 2005, implement national strategies to provide a supportive environment for orphans and children infected and affected by
By 2003, to have in place strategies that begin to address the factors that make individuals particularly vulnerable to
infection, including under-development, economic insecurity, poverty, lack of empowerment of women, lack of education, social exclusion, illiteracy, discrimination, lack of information and/or commodities for self-protection, and all types of sexual exploitation of women, girls and boys;
By 2003, to develop multisectoral strategies to address the impact of the
epidemic at the individual, family, community and national levels.
Increasingly, other stakeholders, including nongovernmental organizations and private companies worldwide, are making clear their determination to boost those efforts.
New resources are being marshalled to lift spending to the necessary levels, which
estimates at US$7‚10 billion per year in low- and middle-income countries. The global fund called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has attracted about US$1.5 billion in pledges. In addition, the World Bank plans major new loans in 2002 and 2003 for
, with a grant equivalency of over US$400 million per year. All the while, more countries are boosting their national budget allocations towards
responses. Several 'least developed countries' have received, or are in line for, debt relief that could help them increase their spending on
More private companies are also stepping up their efforts. Guiding some of their interventions is a new international code of conduct on
and the workplace, which was ratified earlier this year by members of the International Labour Organization (the new, eighth cosponsoring organization of
The challenge now is to build on the new-found commitment and convert it into sustained action -- both in the countries and regions already hard hit, and in those where the epidemic began later but is gathering steam.