10 June 2011

Special Needs of Women and Young People Highlighted at AIDS Meeting

High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on HIV and AIDS concludes today

UNITED NATIONS, New York — World leaders gathered in New York for the 2011 United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS have launched a Global Plan that will make significant strides towards eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive. The plan focuses on reaching pregnant women living with HIV and their children.

Throughout the three-day event, UNFPA emphasized the special concerns and needs of women and young people living with HIV, and emphasized the fundamental link between sexual and reproductive health and HIV.

Addressing world leaders on behalf of the United Nations in a panel discussion on "Women, girls and HIV" on 9 June, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin spoke of the need to sustain the current momentum on women, girls and HIV by increasing political support and funding, both at the global and the national levels. And he mentioned the need to change harmful gender norms and practices and to integrate the prevention of gender-based violence into HIV interventions.

Also on Thursday, a side event on "Young People in the AIDS Response" called for greater commitment to young people and their engagement for prevention of new infections and for a stronger focus on getting results through application of evidence.

Live Webcast: Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

On Friday UNFPA partnered with UNAIDS and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance to host the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast as part of the side events of the high level meeting. The Breakfast will be attended by the Deputy Secretary General, Asha Rose Migiro, as well as UNFPA and UNAIDS Deputy Executive Directors Purnima Mane and Jan Beagle.

Leaders of religious and civil society and advocates from around the world spoke out about the progress made by faith-based organizations to stop the spread of HIV and provide physical and emotional support to those living with HIV. 

After a short breakout session, each table at the breakfast shared one idea for how all sectors of society can work together to end stigma about AIDS. The breakfast closed with prayers invoked by representatives of different faiths.

Part 1

Click here to watch the second part of the webcast

 Publications on condoms programming and prevention among youth launched

Condom programming, a critical element in accelerating progress for HIV prevention, was the subject of a breakfast discussion organized by UNFPA and the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations. During the breakfast, a major multi-year pledge from Denmark was announced, and a new publication was launched.

Ahead of the High Level Meeting, UNFPA together with partners launched the report Opportunity in Crisis , which presents, for the first time, new data on HIV prevalence in young people aged 15-24 years. The report highlights high risk behaviours while focusing on key gaps and opportunities for effective HIV prevention among youth. "As the report says, too many adolescent girls become pregnant before they are ready, and have children while they are still children themselves," said Dr. Osotimehin. "This puts their own health and their children’s health at risk and limits their opportunities and potential.

Main events during the 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS will be streamed live on the United Nations Webcast site.

For details and complete coverage, including all related documents, visit the official site: 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS.