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Towards Universal Access: Scaling Up Priority HIV and AIDS Interventions in the Health Sector: Progress Report 2008

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Geneva, WHO, 2008

Two years ago at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS, countries committed to reaching as close as possible to the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

In this report, as we approach 2010, we assess how far we have come. Progress in the health sector is a key measure of progress towards universal access. This second annual report on the global health-sector response to HIV reveals impressive achievements as well as ongoing challenges in meeting our goals. Increased political commitment and allocation of resources are having an effect in the most severely burdened countries.

By the end of 2007, nearly 1 million more people were receiving antiretroviral therapy than in 2006, and the world had met the “3 by 5” target of providing antiretroviral therapy to 3 million people in low- and middle-income countries – a target many people predicted was unachievable when the initiative was launched in 2003. With the unprecedented scale-up of treatment, people living with HIV are living longer and have a better quality of life.
The report also documents encouraging trends in providing health services targeting women and children. More mothers have access to interventions to prevent transmission to their infants, and more children living with HIV are benefiting from treatment and care programmes.