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Global War Against AIDS May Fail Target, Warns UN

eet its target of providing antiretroviral drugs to three million AIDS patients by the end of 2005. Only 1.3 million people received the treatment.

"In many countries, progress in scaling up proven HIV prevention methods appears to have stalled," the report concludes.

Key prevention services - aimed at changing sexual behaviors among those most vulnerable to HIV and preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission - have reached fewer than 10 percent of at-risk population.

The UN says that after 25 years of struggling against the epidemic, the world stands at a crossroads. Despite the gloomy assessment on the global state of AIDS, some progress has been made.

Governments have adopted strong national policies to fight AIDS and provide wider access to treatment and prevention, and can tap into more resources. The world now spends about $8.2 billion a year in programmes against AIDS, but the full need would be $10 billion, the UN says.

The study, compiled from data supplied by governments on their respective anti-AIDS policies, shows that some countries were on course to reverse AIDS, while many others are falling far behind.

The great differences among countries and regions in implementing the five-year plan should force policymakers to focus on the place that are failing.

The study says that 90 percent of countries that provided data now have a strong foundation for effective anti-AIDS programmes. In about 40 countries, heads of government or their deputies lead the national programmes.

--Edited IANS
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