Previously known as AIDS Update, this is the 11th annual publication to provide information
about action taken by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to prevent HIV infection.
HIV/AIDS threatens to destroy a whole generation of leaders, workers, parents and youth, and to
create a generation of orphans in the worst-affected countries. In many countries, the infection is
creeping through the population, preparing to strike full-force.
Prevention is about striking first.
Reproductive health information, services and supplies enable people to avoid HIV infection and
to protect themselves, their partners and their unborn children from this deadly virus.
HIV/AIDS is higher than ever before on the political agenda of countries around the world.
We know that prevention works, and we have consensus among nations about the need for action.
Now that we have such awareness and commitment, we must talk about HIV/AIDS openly,
honestly and directly and act to guarantee prevention, care and treatment to all who need it.
In June 2001, world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS)
on HIV/AIDS stated: “Prevention must be the mainstay of our response.”
The earlier the
response, the better. Prompt, large-scale prevention programmes have reduced rates of HIV
infection in Thailand, Cambodia and Uganda, and maintained low prevalence rates in Senegal.
UNFPA has much to offer in the fight against HIV/AIDS, drawing on more than 30 years of
experience addressing sensitive issues that cut across many different sectors and finding ways to
work in diverse social, cultural and religious settings.
For UNFPA, HIV prevention is based in our
mandate to prevent sexually transmitted infections of all kinds and to promote reproductive rights.
To overcome the challenges ahead, we recognize the need for even stronger partnerships,
especially through UNAIDS, and for the financial and technical resources to make good on our
promises. The UN system, governments, civil societies and communities must join together—
crossing boundaries, barriers and cultures—working in partnership with a single focus: to stop
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