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Preventing HIV Infection
UNFPA Response 2003
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Conclusion: Challenges
Statements Guiding UNFPA in HIV Prevention

Conclusion: Challenges

"The pandemic has not yet peaked. UNFPA, with coordinated partnerships, faces a tremendous challenge to provide the necessary long-term support to countries. Countries require intensified assistance to access adequate resources and implement effective policies and programmes to prevent new infections and ultimately halt and reverse the epidemic."

— Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director

Two decades of this global epidemic have taken a devastating toll: the future of young people cut short, the loss of parents to orphaned children, nations deprived of women and men in their most productive years. The impact cannot be overstated. Countries slow to react invite disaster, while fast action can save lives—especially when prevention efforts protect young people.

Signs of progress

HIV prevention initiatives are under way in nearly all of the more than 140 countries in which the Fund operates. This is good news, especially when factored alongside the many other actions taken by partners in UNAIDS, governments and civil society to fight HIV/AIDS. In more and more countries, laws and policies are promoting prevention and protecting people living with HIV/AIDS—and helping to reduce the shame and stigma long associated with HIV/AIDS. Medical research is looking for a vaccine and, with increasing assistance from pharmaceutical companies, progress has been made in expanding access to low-cost antiretroviral drugs and the development of microbicides. In several countries, prevention programmes have helped slow the spread of infection and more care, support and treatment is available to adults, young people and children affected by the epidemic. At the 2001 UNGASS on HIV/AIDS, the unprecedented level of political commitment demonstrated a truly global awareness of the need for action to fight HIV/AIDS.

Financial resources

Funding still falls far short of the need. UNAIDS estimates that $7 billion to $10 billion is required annually to implement effective prevention and care programmes in low- and middle-income countries. This requires an increase of 5 per cent or 10 per cent in the world’s official development assistance (ODA).

  • Implementation of a full prevention package by 2005 could cut the number of new infections by 29 million by 2010.

UNFPA spending on HIV prevention in 2002 totalled approximately $49 million. This figure includes country, regional and global-level efforts.

A solid base of funding, strong partnerships and a deep understanding of how best to take effective action will help UNFPA respond as the epidemic changes over time. In the challenging years ahead, one concept will remain constant: HIV prevention is relevant to all countries regardless of the stage of the epidemic and is most effective when implemented early.

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