Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other diseases

MDG6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

  • Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • Target: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
  • Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

The UN’s goal to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015, provide universal access to treatment, and reverse the incidences of malaria and tuberculosis has made important strides for global health. In the year 2000 there were about 3 million new HIV infections, while 27 million more were already living with it.

The number of people newly infected with HIV dropped to about 2.5 million in 2010, while the number of those living with HIV increased to 34 million people. With access to HIV treatment so difficult to acquire, especially in low income areas, further efforts are needed. While the prevalence of tuberculosis is falling in most regions, and close to meeting its goal, it is still the second leading cause of death after HIV, and the struggles for prevention and treatment of malaria continue. Malaria and tuberculosis also account for millions of deaths worldwide, mostly in Africa.

This goal faces many obstacles that are more difficult to deal with than simple lack of knowledge of prevention and treatment. Many cultures in developing countries are opposed to the use of contraceptives, particularly condoms. In Africa the access to condoms for men is limited, and in nine of the 11 concerned countries, fewer than 20 percent of men were tested for HIV. Despite 1.4 million more people in developing regions receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV or AIDS in 2010 than the previous year, universal access remains elusive. In regards to Malaria, while the funding has increased, certain challenges remain – for instance, South-Eastern Asia and more than half of sub-Saharan Africa resist using vital drugs and insecticides that thwart malaria and malaria-bearing mosquitoes.

Nina Mansour is an intern at InterAction.

In the year 2000, after a decade of conferences and summits, the UN created the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a series of eight goals with concrete targets to achieve by 2015. With just three years until December 31, 2015, the world is beginning to evaluate how close we are to achieving the MDGs and to look forward. This eight-part blog series highlights some of the successes and challenges as we close out 2012.