2004 report on the global AIDS epidemic. 4th global report.
Every two years, on the occasion of the International Conference on AIDS, this Global Report sets out our current knowledge on the state of the epidemic based on the experiences of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which comprises nine United Nations system agencies. It makes for sobering reading. Far from levelling off, rates of infection are still on the rise in many countries in Sub- Saharan Africa. Indeed, in 2003 alone, an estimated 3 million people in the region became newly infected. Most alarmingly, new epidemics appear to be advancing unchecked in other regions, notably Eastern Europe and Asia. Countries in Eastern Europe and East Asia are experiencing the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. The large, populous countries of China, India and Indonesia are of particular concern. General prevalence is low there, but this masks serious epidemics already under way in individual provinces, territories and states. AIDS is the most globalized epidemic in history, and we are witnessing its growing ‘feminization’. Every year brings an increase in the number of women infected with HIV. Globally, nearly half of all persons infected between the ages of 15 to 49 are women. In Africa, the proportion is reaching 60%. Because of gender inequality, women living with HIV or AIDS often experience greater stigma and discrimination. Yet this is a problem with a solution. As our report indicates, we know what works—successful approaches are evolving locally, nationally and globally. They are being helped by the growing momentum of international political leadership, by business workplace programmes, and by the dynamic mobilization of affected communities themselves—a key element that remains at the heart of our global response. (excerpt)