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Spotlight Series: HIV Stigma and Discrimination
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International News

AIDS War Could Last Decades, UN Chief Warns

August 14, 2006

Hard-won funding to provide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to poor HIV/AIDS patients should not delude people into thinking the fight against the epidemic is over, UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot warned during the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto.

"We are entering a new phase in the global response," said Piot. "We have got some initial successes, or rather results, but we are facing a move from crisis management to a long-term sustainable response," he said.

"One and a half million people are on antiretroviral therapy in the developing world," Piot said. "And hopefully there will be far more. Twenty, 30 or 40 years from now, we still want them to be alive. Who's going to pay for that?"

"By any measure, we still have a catastrophe, a crisis. But if now these initial results lead to complacency, that would be a disaster, and we know that keeping anything on the political agenda is difficult," Piot said.

Piot outlined three objectives:

  • making second-line AIDS drugs affordable enough so poor patients encountering viral resistance can be treated;
  • ensuring sustainable financing to treat poor AIDS patients, possibly for decades;
  • addressing the fundamental problems of homophobia, discrimination against women, and disease stigma -- all which help fuel the epidemic.

Back to other news for August 14, 2006

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse
08.13.2006; Richard Ingham

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.