MDG Progress in Short 6: Combat Disease

This is an ever present story, the rate of HIV/AIDS cases, among other preventable diseases.  Get tested.  It’s been reported that there are about 200,000 people living in America alone who are unaware that they have HIV/AIDS.

GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases

TARGET:  Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

AIDS-related mortality peaked in 2004, with 2.2 million deaths. By 2008, that toll had dropped to 2 million, although HIV remains the world’s leading infectious killer.

The epidemic appears to have stabilized in most regions, although prevalence continues to rise in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and other parts of Asia due to a high rate of new HIV infections. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most heavily affected region, accounting for 72 per cent of all new HIV infections in 2008.

A wide gap exists between knowledge of HIV and preventive action, sometimes due to cultural mores. A tradition of child marriage, for example, can put girls at risk. An analysis of survey data from eight countries shows that young women (aged 15 to 24) who had their sexual debut before age 15 are more likely to be HIV-positive. Tacit social acceptance of violence against women and girls compounds the problem. In four countries surveyed, nearly one in four young women reported that their first experience of sexual intercourse was forced, which increases the chances of contracting HIV.

An estimated 17.5 million children (under age 18) lost one or both parents to AIDS in 2008. The vast majority of these children—14.1 million—live in sub-Saharan Africa.

TARGET:  Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it

However, for every two individuals who start treatment each year, five people are newly infected with HIV. The rate of new infections continues to outstrip the expansion of treatment, drawing attention to the urgent need to intensify both prevention and treatment measures.

TARGET:  Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

Global production of mosquito nets has increased fivefold since 2004—rising from 30 million to 150 million in 2009. Nearly 200 million nets were delivered to African countries by manufacturers during 2007-2009 and are available for use; nearly 350 million are needed to achieve universal coverage there. Based on these estimates, endemic African countries have received enough nets to cover more than half of their populations at risk of malaria.

All the data listed in this blog set are pulled from the Millenium Development Goals Report of 2010, a progress report issued by the UN earlier in 2010. Each goal can help us understand some of the pressing crises of the world, bringing it into focus in our own lives.  Click here to find out some ways to get involved and make this new year time to reflect on the needs of the world.


About C. Sala Hewitt

C. Sala Hewitt
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