Countries that still have low levels of Untitled HIV infection should avert the epidemic's potential spread, rather than take comfort from current infection rates. The key to success in low-prevalence settings where Untitled HIV is not yet a risk to the wider population is to enable the most vulnerable groups to adopt safer sexual and drug-injecting behaviour, interrupt the virus's spread among and between those groups, and buy time to bolster the wider population's ability to protect itself against the virus.

Untitled
Untitled
Click on figure for a larger image.
Untitled
    View also



This means, first, determining which population groups are at highest risk of infection and, second, mustering the political will to safeguard them against the epidemic. At the same time, it is vital to defuse the stigma and blame so often attached to vulnerable groups and to deepen the wider public's knowledge and understanding of the epidemic.

Young people are a priority on this front. Twenty years into the epidemic, millions of young people know little, if anything, about Untitled HIV/AIDS . According to UNICEF, over 50% of young people (aged 1524) in more than a dozen countries, including Bolivia, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam, have never heard of Untitled AIDS or harbour serious misconceptions about how Untitled HIV is transmitted. Providing young people with candid information and life skills is a prerequisite for success in any Untitled AIDS response.


A4 (b): Untitled Reclaiming the future

The impact of the Untitled AIDS epidemic is being increasingly felt in many countries across the world. Southern Africa continues to be the worst affected area, with adult prevalence rates still rising in several countries. But elsewhere, also, in countries often already burdened by huge socioeconomic challenges, Untitled AIDS threatens human welfare, developmental progress and social stability on an unprecedented scale.

The Untitled AIDS epidemic has a profound impact on growth, income and poverty. It is estimated that the annual per capita growth in half the countries of Untitled Sub-Saharan Africa is falling by 0.51.2% as a direct result of Untitled AIDS . By 2010, per capita GDP in some of the hardest hit countries may drop by 8% and per capita consumption may fall even farther. Calculations show that heavily affected countries could lose more than 20% of GDP by 2020. Companies of all types face higher costs in training, insurance, benefits, absenteeism and illness. A survey of 15 firms in Ethiopia has shown that, over a five-year period, 53% of all illnesses among staff were Untitled AIDS -related.

Untitled
Untitled
Click on figure for a larger image.
Untitled
    View also