Helen Clark: Statement on World AIDS Day 2016

This World AIDS Day serves as a reminder of the urgent need to come together as a global community and recommit ourselves to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030—one of the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

AIDS continues to be one of the leading causes of death worldwide. UNAIDS warns that in spite of the progress made over the past 15 years, our job is far from done. While nearly fifty per cent of people living with HIV are currently accessing antiretroviral therapy, 18.5 million people are still in need of treatment.

Declines in new HIV infection rates among adults have stalled, and infection rates are climbing in some regions. In 2015 nearly 7500 young women aged 15-24 years acquired HIV every week. These trends suggest that HIV prevention efforts are falling short. There continues to be a lack of funding for human rights programming to address punitive legal environments, stigma and discrimination, and other human rights barriers which often prevent people, especially the most marginalized, from accessing health services.

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Female Nurses in Demand: UNDP Trains 200+ Young Women to Save Lives in Rural Areas

23 October 2016, Jalalabad, Nangarhar – In a very ordinary hostel in Jalalabad, something extraordinary is going on. A young woman is sitting on her hostel bed, bent over a textbook.

This is Abida and she is training to be a nurse in a country where most women haven't even finished primary school.

Abida has just finished a long day of classwork and on-the-job training. She's exhausted, but determined to carry on because nurses are hard to find in her home village, more than 100 kilometres away in Nuristan. In this isolated province, woman commonly die because basic healthcare is unavailable – either because there are no doctors or because women are not allowed to be treated by a man. Thinking about this situation keeps Abida going when her eyes are heavy and her brain numb.

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UNDP and Global Fund sign a new $7 million grant to address barriers to HIV services in eight Caribbean countries

New York - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Fund have signed a new US$7 million grant to enhance access to HIV services in eight Caribbean countries – Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The funds will focus on promoting and protecting human rights and access to HIV services for key populations such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, marginalized young people and those using drugs, all of whom often bear the highest burden of HIV infection in the region.

Significant progress has been made to address the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean as new infections have decreased by 49% between 2001 and 2012. However, while the regional HIV prevalence rate is 1%, this figure is drastically on the rise among the key populations who continue to be disproportionately affected. WHO estimates that between 40% and 50% of all new HIV infections among adults worldwide may occur from among the very disproportionately affected key populations and their immediate partners. This is also the reality in the Caribbean and has led to countries reclassifying the epidemic as being both general and concentrated.

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2015-2016 Annual Report on UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund

HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria claim the lives of up to four million people every year. People living in low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by these epidemics, as fragile health systems struggle to deliver services. The situation is further compounded for those living in the midst of conflict, disasters, crises and political instability.

The 2015-2016 Annual Report on UNDP's partnership with the Global Fund highlights the achievements of this partnership, and its work to respond to HIV, TB and malaria in some of the world's most challenging contexts. The report includes an analysis of the current health landscape and demonstrates the impact of UNDP-managed Global Fund grants. It also provides an update on capacity development activities aimed at strengthening resilient health systems and provides an overview of the UNDP Global Fund Partnership Team's support to UNDP Country Offices.

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United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines Calls for New Deal to Close the Health Innovation and Access Gap

Whether it's the rising price of the EpiPen, or new outbreaks of diseases, like Ebola, Zika and yellow fever, the rising costs of health technologies and the lack of new tools to tackle health problems, like antimicrobial resistance, is a problem in rich and poor countries alike.

According to a High-Level Panel convened to advise the UN Secretary-General on improving access to medicines, the world must take bold new approaches to both health technology innovation and ensuring access so that all people can benefit from the medical advances that have dramatically improved the lives of millions around the world in the last century.

For decades, many international treaties and national constitutions have enshrined the fundamental right to health and the right to share in the benefits of scientific advancements. Yet, while the world is witnessing the immense potential of science and technology to advance health care, gaps and failures in addressing disease burdens and emerging diseases in many countries and communities remain. The misalignment between the right to health on the one hand and intellectual property and trade on the other, fuel this tension.

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