With World AIDS Day just behind us, a look at the latest UNAIDS Report on the Global Aids Epidemic 2010 show a mix of positive and negative trends on the global epidemic. Global deaths due to HIV/AIDS have nearly gone down by 20 per cent which basically mean rates of infections are coming down and less people are dying due to AIDS. 56 countries have significantly reduced the rate of new infections.
The HIV prevention charter says, "In 2009, 370 000 children were infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission. This is a drop of 24% from five years earlier. However, rapid expansion of delivery of effective advances in preventing mother-to-child transmission is being held back by inadequate access to antenatal and postnatal services." Mother to Mother transmission remains one of the most crucial aspects of prevention.
Knowledge and prevention
While knowledge among young people have increased since 2008, the increase, the report says is "slight". 34%, the number of young people with this comprehensive knowledge is barely one third of the UNGASS target of 95%.
The condom remains the world's simplest way to prevent infection. Correct and consistent condom use has been found to be greater than 90% effective in preventing transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
The report sounds a note of caution saying that while there are many resources, they alone won't help the situation unless they are directed to focus prevention in areas where they can have maximum effect as well as is most needed.
These areas especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia include people injecting drugs, sex worker, their clients and MSM (men who have sex with men). These groups are traditionally known to be high risk populations
While celebrating the progress its important to keep in mind what UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe has to say in a statement issued to commemorate WORLD AIDS Day, "No one is immune from HIV. Not you, not me—irrespective of whether you are rich or poor. But we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. And we can show compassion for all people living with HIV."