UNFPAUNFPA Annual Report 2000
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AIDS
AIDS is an unprecedented emergency demanding urgent attention. In sub-Saharan Africa, where three quarters of all HIV-positive people live, the disease is a catastrophe. Depleting the resources of governments and extended families, AIDS is killing adults in their prime, robbing schools of teachers, leaving children without parents, and pushing back hard-won gains in health and education. While other parts of the world have so far escaped Africa's high infection rates, the number of cases continues to rise in parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and Latin America and the Caribbean. 

By the end of 2000, 36.1 million men, women and children around the world were living with HIV or AIDS and 21.8 million had died from the disease, 4.3 million of them children. In 2000 alone, over 5 million people were newly infected and 3 million people died, the most in a single year.

POWER OF PREVENTION

UNFPA plays a leading role in efforts to prevent the further spread of HIV/AIDS. As the largest international provider of condoms and population assistance, our goal is to integrate HIV prevention into all reproductive health and family planning services. Key to all prevention efforts are:

  • Empowering women and girls to refuse unsafe sex or to abstain from sexual relations.

  • Changing men's attitudes and behaviour towards women.

  • Ensuring access to condoms and other reproductive health commodities, through quality health services.

  • Combating other sexually transmitted infections, which assist the transmission of HIV.


  • Recognizing the part played by poverty and deprivation in spreading infection.

  • Ending the shame, stigma and silence surrounding HIV/AIDS.

  • Ensuring that young people know how to protect themselves, and including them in decisions that affect their lives.

In 2000, we focused on raising awareness of the disease among officials and the public, increasing resources to fight AIDS, training health care providers and counsellors, and promoting access to testing, counselling and treatment. We expanded programmes to prevent HIV infection, especially among young people and pregnant women, and supported campaigns promoting condom use among sexually active individuals. We promoted gender equality in our programmes and challenged discriminatory practices that help spread HIV infection. In conjunction with other United Nations agencies, UNFPA urged pharmaceutical companies to provide essential medicines at preferential prices to developing countries.

UNFPA is a key member of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a leading global force in the fight against AIDS. As a cosponsor of UNAIDS, we have been allocated $3.65 million of the programme's common funds in 2000-2001 to prevent HIV infection. We also cooperate with other United Nations agencies in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

In 2000, UNFPA, in collaboration with UNAIDS, took the lead in developing an inter-agency initiative to strengthen political commitment and financial support from African leaders to combat AIDS. From July-August, UNFPA conducted needs assessment missions in six countries – Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania – that are being used to design model advocacy programmes throughout Africa.