Today begins the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS, which will bring together approximately 3,000 people-including 30 heads-of-state-who are working to forge a future free of AIDS.
|Read The Economist article.|
The meeting marks the 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Three decades later, the disease disproportionately affects the poor and developing world, with 75% of all those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Over 2.1 million children are infected with HIV today. Millions more are impacted by the disease because it has killed one or both of their parents, led to stigma and discrimination, or ravaged their community.
The good news is that the death rate is dropping...and the rate of new infections has decreased by 25% or more. With the dedication of UNICEF and other aid organizations, access to preventative services is available to more pregnant women than ever. When infected pregnant women get the right medicines, they're able to ensure they do not pass the virus to their babies. With a continued increase in testing and preventative care for women, we can make a significant reduction in the 400,000 babies born annually with the virus.
How real is the case for optimism? The Economist magazine this week offered this possibility: the end of AIDS. The article stressed that that, "if AIDS is defeated, it will be thanks to an alliance of science, activism and altruism."
Last week, the U.S. Fund introduced the UNICEF HIV/AIDS Innovation Fund, which will harness the ideas of top HIV experts and business and philanthropic leaders. By investing in high-impact, low-cost interventions and technologies, the Innovation Fund can act as a fast lane for change in fight against HIV/AIDS. As the world increasingly addresses AIDS on all levels-from UN High Level to grassroots community levels-there's more hope than ever that we will live to see an AIDS-free generation.
Learn about HIV/AIDS and children.