Reigning in HIV/AIDS & Malaria

I have a beautiful friend who is studying gene science. Her entire life revolves around this one goal: to find a cure for HIV AIDS. Since the 80’s this disease has ravaged the world. Due to a lack of education and, in some cases, unhealthy cultural beliefs, AIDS has been rampant in the third world. Each year, around 2 millsion people die with a strain of the disease. I don’t understand the ins and outs of AIDS and what makes it HIV or not, but I do know that most of us know someone who has lost a loved one because of it. I do. Imagine what it’s like in the developing world, where it’s still spreading like wildfire!

The Millennium Development Goal #6 is all about HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, and it’s a big one.

Here’s an update on the current situation, many thanks to the United Nations ( 🙂 ) Brackets are mine.

GOAL 6: COMBAT HIV/AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES

Target 1:
Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

  • The spread of HIV appears to have stabilized in most regions, and more people are surviving longer (Yes! Such good news!)
  • Many young people still lack the knowledge to protect themselves against HIV.
  • Empowering women through AIDS education is indeed possible, as a number of countries have shown. (I love that!)
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, knowledge of HIV increases with wealth and among those living in urban areas.
  • Disparities are found in condom use by women and men and among those from the richest and poorest households.
  • Condom use during high-risk sex is gaining acceptance in some countries and is one facet of effective HIV prevention.
  • Mounting evidence shows a link between gender-based violence and HIV.
  • Children orphaned by AIDS suffer more than the loss of parents (they’re a big reason why this terrible cycle must be stopped).

Target 2:
Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it

  • The rate of new HIV infections continues to outstrip the expansion of treatment.
  • Expanded treatment for HIV-positive women also safeguards their newborns.

Target 3:
Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

  • Production of insecticide-treated mosquito nets soars.
  • Across Africa, expanded use of insecticide-treated bed nets is protecting communities from malaria.
  • Poverty continues to limit use of mosquito nets.
  • Global procurement of more effective antimalarial drugs continues to rise rapidly.
  • Children from the poorest households are least likely to receive treatment for malaria.
  • External funding is helping to reduce malaria incidence and deaths, but additional support is needed.
  • Progress on tuberculosis inches forward.
  • Tuberculosis prevalence is falling in most regions.
  • Tuberculosis remains the second leading killer after HIV.

HIV prevalence in men and women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa (2000-2006)

Estimated number of people living with HIV, by region (1990-2006)

Percentage of young people with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV, in countries where such knowledge has increased by at least 10 percentage points (2000-2006)

Percentage of febrile children under five receiving any antimalarial medicine and chloroquine (2000-2006)

The following projects are happening in a bid to achieve all these targets. They’re supported by the women of the Colour Sisterhood.

Living Hope is providing a new model of HIV care, through the local church distributing and managing ARV treatment it is allowing the vulnerable to access the treatment and also assisting the local health systems which are overloaded.

Compassion provides treated bed nets to all of their sponsored children, providing a safe place for them to sleep which prevents the incidence of malaria.

All Watoto children and their mothers sleep under treated bed nets preventing the incidence of malaria.

Thanks for the info:

United Nations

Colour Sisterhood

UNICEF

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