HIV/AIDS will make it difficult, if not impossible, for many countries to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to a new analysis by researchers published to coincide with World AIDS Day on December 1, 2006.
In September 2000, 189 governments committed to achieving eight development goals to improve living standards worldwide. But according to the analysis in PLoS Medicine, by Robert Hecht and colleagues at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and EASE International, the HIV/AIDS epidemic will stall progress toward reaching at least five of these goals: halving extreme poverty and hunger; reducing childhood deaths; achieving universal primary education; improving maternal health; and tackling infectious diseases, such as TB and malaria.
The researchers examined studies that have investigated how HIV/AIDS impedes human development and found that HIV/AIDS:
"Failure to halt and reverse the AIDS epidemic will continue to jeopardize progress toward achieving a wide range of the MDGs," conclude Hecht and colleagues.
"From now until the 2015 MDG target date, it is essential that the delivery of existing interventions for prevention, treatment, and mitigation of the social effects of HIV be dramatically increased. At the same time, it is essential to invest in the development of the new and better technologies needed for more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS."
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Citation: Hecht R, Alban A, Taylor K, Post S, Andersen NB, et al. (2006) Putting it together: AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals. PLoS Med 3(11): e455.
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About PLoS Medicine
PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org
About the Public Library of Science
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.orgThis press release coincides with World AIDS Day on December 1, 2006.
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