The media has gone crazy over the disclosure of the HIV status of one of America’s most controversial television stars, Charlie Sheen. Much of the reporting has been sensationalist, focusing on his multiple marriages and struggles with substance abuse. The majority of it has been dominated by prejudice and moral finger-wagging. Social media went into overdrive, as #Charliesheen trended around the world.
AIDS continues to be a major global health and development challenge. Since its emergence as one of the most brutal and debilitating diseases in history, it has already claimed the lives of more than 34 million people.
Today, 36.9 million people are living with HIV, with 1.2 million deaths from AIDS-related illnesses and two million new HIV infections occurring in 2014 alone. The devastation wrought by AIDS-related illnesses is very real, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of new HIV infections occur.
Geneva – UNDP has achieved significant reductions in the price of HIV medicines that it procures, bringing down the cost of the most common treatment to an unprecedented US$100 per patient per year in Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Mali, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through these price reductions UNDP is saving US$ 25 million that are being used to put an additional 250,000 people on life-saving HIV treatment.
UNDP currently supports the implementation of HIV grants financed by the Global Fund in 19 countries. Through these programmes, 2.2 million people living with HIV currently receive life-saving antiretroviral therapy.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the establishment of a high-level panel on health technology innovation and access.
Comprising 16 eminent, well-respected individuals with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broad range of trade, public health, human rights and legal issues associated with access to treatment, the panel’s co-chairs are Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland, and Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana.
New York – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Fund have signed a US$10.5 million grant to address human rights barriers faced by vulnerable communities in Africa, and facilitate access to lifesaving health care. The grant is the first of its kind and will cover 10 countries including Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
- Ensuring sustainability of community-led HIV service delivery in Thailand
- Life-saving logistics in Ukraine
- Opinion: Making the law work for HIV responses
- Networks led by young people in Asia and the Pacific find ways to adapt to COVID-19 and deal with uncertain futures
- Strengthening the role of judges in the HIV response