For only the second time in a decade, the United Nations is holding a “high-level” General Assembly meeting to reach consensus — and commitment — from the international community on how to respond to AIDS.
Starting today and running through Friday, those meeting at the UN headquarters in New York City face a daunting task due to a number of factors:
- The virus continues to spread, newly infecting thousands of people every day.
- In the developing world, many more people are on anti-HIV treatment (more than 6 million) than was the case a decade ago, but many more (9 million) who need the drugs aren’t yet getting them.
- Donors and governments are reluctant to increase funding (or even meet previously committed funding targets) to various efforts in the global AIDS response due to the economic turndown.
- New evidence that supports the claim that anti-HIV treatment can almost completely stop those infected from spreading the disease has caused many advocacy organizations and others to press even harder for expanding AIDS treatment — as a means to save lives but also stop the spread of the disease.
The meeting is just starting but here a few stories or op-eds out of it:
NOTE: At the same time, in South Africa where HIV and AIDS has been massive, another AIDS meeting is taking place and strikes a “positive note.”