A new report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has been released and shows that 2011 was a game changing year for the AIDS response with unprecedented progress in science, political leadership and results. The report also shows that new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have fallen to the lowest levels since the peak of the epidemic. New HIV infections were reduced by 21% since 1997, and deaths from AIDS-related illnesses decreased by 21% since 2005.
In order to help countries produce standardized reports to effectively measure the state of the epidemic, UNAIDS has released the new guidelines on Global AIDS Response Progress Reporting 2012. The guidelines outline a set of core global indicators designed to help countries assess the current state of their national AIDS response and progress made in achieving their national HIV targets. They will contribute to a better understanding of the global AIDS response, including progress towards meeting the global targets set in the 2011 Political Declaration as well as the Millennium Development Goals.
A Policy Statement.
The number of infants born with HIV infection is growing every day. The AIDS pandemic represents a tragic setback in the progress made on child welfare and survival. Given the vital importance of breast milk and breast- feeding for child health, the increasing prevalence of HIV infection around the world, and the evidence of a risk of HIV transmission through breast-feeding, it is now crucial that policies be developed on HIV infection and infant feeding.
The following statement provides policy-makers with a number of key elements for the formulation of such policies.
Financing the Response to AIDS in Low- and Middle- Income Countries: International Assistance from Donor Governments in 2010
The last decade saw a dramatic rise in resources devoted to addressing the HIV epidemic in low- and middle- income countries, contributing to significant scale up of treatment and prevention efforts. In marking the 30th year of the epidemic, UNAIDS recently reported that treatment access had increased more than 20 times and new infections fell by nearly 25% over the decade.1
The purpose of this work is to assist South Africa in improving its HIV prevention response. In 2011, the South African government has the challenging task to draw up a new 5-year strategy: the National HIV Strategic Plan 2012 to 2016. This plan is to provide strategic direction on how to respond to HIV and AIDS in South Africa in the next five years. With the annual rate of new HIV infections down to the level of the early 1990s, a slower spread of HIV infection in teenagers, ARV provision at high levels, and promising new HIV prevention tools becoming available, these five years represent a window of opportunity to radically turn around the epidemic by significantly putting the brakes on new infections in the country.
This report is a preliminary assessment of global investments in research and development
(R&D) devoted to the discovery and development of new therapies and treatment strategies
for HIV. As part of a broader effort to track and analyze HIV/AIDS spending, UNAIDS
commissioned the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and AVAC to measure global R&D spending
for HIV treatment, starting with the year 2009.
From a total of 144 surveyed institutions, 48 funders reported investing $2.5 billion in HIV
treatment R&D in 2009. The scope of HIV treatment R&D included HIV basic science, drug
discovery, drug development, diagnostics, and operational and implementation science on
Barker PM, Venter F. Setting district-based annual targets for HAART and PMTCT - a first step in planning effective intervention for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. S Afr Med J. 2007 Oct;97(10):916-7.
The Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission - Costing the Service in Four Sites in South Africa
The maturity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa has brought competing agendas for prevention and impact mitigation to the table. Given the countrys resource constraints it is imperative that any interventions are thoroughly assessed for their efficacy, costs and benefits.